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jjHtacmiltan CTlasstcal Scries 

KtliUnl by I*. lu ULI.MAN 

Elementary Latin 

By B. L. UiiLMAN and NORMAN 10. HnnuY 

New Elementary Latin 


Second Latin Book, Revised Edition 

Third Latin Book 

By B. L. Ur.LMAN, NOUMAN 10. HtoNnr, and Dou- 


Progress Tests in Latin 

By B. L. ULLMAN and A. W. 

Easy Latin Plays 


Rome and the Romans 


A Survey and Interpretation 










All rights reserved no part of this book 
may be reproduced in any form without 
permission in writing from the publisher, 
except by a reviewer who wishes to quote 
brief passages in connection with a review 
written for inclusion in magazine or 

Set up and electrotyped. School Kditlon published December, 793 r 
May Printing, 1958 

JPnnted in the United States of A manca 

f erafc lilla dies u~b commii-fceraujr in aevo 


The following survey and interpretation of a great 
ancient civilization is meant especially for students of 
the literature and history of Rome. It is not, however, 
a textbook only. Rome and the Romans is addressed to 
all readers desiring acquaintance with the people whose 
character and institutions are at the foundations of our 
modern culture. Its purpose is humanistic. It aims to 
assemble, not all facts, but significant facts; to present 
information which will add not only to knowledge but to tha 
meaning of life ; to make learning readable and reasonable. 




























































BOOKS 593 


, 611 


The author expresses his indebtedness and thanks to the 
Oilman and Henry Latin Books for many illustrations; 
to Professor Rostovtzeff for the use of two from his Rome; 
to Mr. James Loeb for approval of numerous quotations 
from the Loeb Classical Library ; to Charles Scribner ; s Sons 
for permission to quote Professor Abbott's translation of 
two Latin inscriptions; to Professors Harold Bennett and 
W. H. Page of the University of Wisconsin for criticism 
of the chapters on the Senator and the Roman Law ; and tc 
Director Gorham Phillips Stevens of the American Academy 
in Rome for counsel and aid. The author desires to express 
special obligation to Professor B. L. Ullman, his editor. 
To the many works in the field of Roman life and letters to 
which he has resorted for information or confirmation, and 
to the commercial photographs employed in illustration, 
the reader will find reference in the appropriate places* 


Wome, Showing Tomb of Hadrian. From Buhlmann and 
Von Wagner, Das Alte Rom .... Frontispiece 


America to Rome 5 

The National Capitol at Washington. Author's Photograph 6 

Italy, (in color) between 8-9 

Rome To-day. Alinari Photograph 10 

Modern Rome 12 

Earliest Latium 15 

Walls of the Palatine City, of Servius Tullius, and of Aurelian 17 

The Wall of Aurelian. Author's Photograph ... 19 

The Early Roman State 22 

Italia 24 

A Page from the Codex Palatinus of Virgil. Vatican Library 31 
The Great Hall of Pennsylvania Terminal in New York. 

By courtesy of McKim, Mead, and White ... 33 
The Mississippi State Capitol at Jackson. Author's Photo- 
graph 34 

Santa Maria in Cosmedin. Alinari Photograph ... 37 
The East End of the Roman Forum Restored. Becchetti, 

Rome 46 

The Streets and Highways of Rome. Adapted ... 48 

Rome in A.D. 64. From Tucker 51 

A Restoration of Rome as Seen from the Capitoline Hill. 

From Buhlmann and Von Wagner, Das Atie Rom . . 54 
An Unidentified Roman. Lateran Museum, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph .57 

A Roman Lady. Capitoline Museum, Rome. Anderson 

Photograph 58 

Roman Shoes. From Curie, A Roman Frontier Post . . 59 

Two Unidentified Romans and a Dacian. Dacian and So- 
called Sulla, Vatican Museum; the third, Lateran 
Museum. Anderson Photographs 61 

The Procession on the Altar of Peace. Uffizi Gallery, 
Florence. Ullman and Henry, New Ekmentary Latin . 66 

An Unidentified Roman. National Museum, Rome. 
Anderson Photograph 68 

Marble Statues in the Naples Museum. Brogi Photograph 73 

Plan of a Pompeian House. Adapted from Mau and Kelsey, 
Pompeii, Its Life and Art 77 

A Mosaic from Pompeii. Naples Museum. Brogi Photograph 79 

Bronze Lamps and Candelabra from Pompeii. Naples 
Museum. Brogi Photograph 82 

The Peristyle of the House of the Vettii in Pompeii. Brogi 
Photograph 83 

Pompeian House Interior Restored. Ullman and Henry, 
New Ekmentary Latin 85 

The Street of the House of Diana in Ostia. Anderson Photo- 
graph 87 

A Four-Year-Old Boy. Barracco Museum, Rome. Alinari 
Photograph 90 

A Mother and Son. Capitoline Museum, Rome. Anderson 
Photograph 93 

Childhood Scenes on a Sarcophagus. Kircherian Museum, 
Rome. Alinari Photograph 97 

Bust of Homer from Herculaneum. Naples Museum. 
Brogi Photograph 102 

Bust of a Greek Personage. Naples Museum. Alinari 
Photograph 105 

Greek and Roman Portrait Busts in the Naples Museum. 
Naples Museum. Brogi Photograph . . . .109 

Two Roman Girls, National Museum, Rome. Anderson 
Photographs 113 

A Roman Girl. Capitoline Museum, Rome. Anderson 
Photograph J14 



A Wedding Scene. National Museum, Rome, Anderson 

Photograph 116 

Personal Adornment in Gold. Naples Museum. Brogi 

Photograph 119 

Two Roman Ladies. National Museum and Vatican 

Museum, Rome. Anderson Photographs . . . 121 
The Garden PJain of Assisi. Anderson Photograph , .125 
Products Found in Pompeii. Naples Museum. Alinari 

Photograph 127 

An Ancient Meat Market. Dresden. Ullman and Henry, 

New Elementary Latin 128 

A Loaf of Bread from Pompeii. Ullman and Henry, Second 

Latin Book 130 

A Pompeian Triclinium, Ullman and Henry, New Elemen- 
tary Latin 132 

Cupids in a Wine Cellar. House of the Vettii, Pompeii. 

Alinari Photograph 134 

Remains of Imperial Palaces on the Palatine. Author's 

Photograph 138 

The Peristyle of the House of the ALmorini Dorati, or Gilded 

Loves, in Pompeii. Esposito Photograph . . . 140 

Diagram of Water Clock 143 

An Unidentified Roman on a Formal Occasion. Lateran 

Museum, Rome. Anderson Photograph .... 156 
The Forum Restored as Seen from the Rostra. Tognelti, 

Rome 160 

A Gathering of Senators. FroiT "Julius Caesar" . . 167 
The Curia, or Senate House, To-day. Ullman and Henry, 

Third Latin Book 169 

Rome from the Temple of Juno on the CapitoL From 

Btihlmann and Von Wagner, Das AUe Rom . . . 171 
The Forum of the Republic. Ullman and Henry. Third 

Latin Book 175 

The Roman Forum To-day. Alinari Photograph . . 179 
The South Side of the Forum Restored. Tognetti, Rome . 183 

A Plan of the Fonun under the Empire. Ullman and Henry, 

Third Latin Book 187 

Scene on One of Two Marble Balustrades in the Forum. 

Anderson Photograph 190 

Tablet and Styluses. From Curie, A Roman Frontier Post . 196 
Paquius Proculus of Pompeii and Wife. Naples Museum . 198 
A Roman Boy Being Taken to School. Ullman and Henry, 

New Elementary Latin 200 

Thalia, Muse of Comedy. Vatican Museum. Anderson 

Photograph 204 

A Lady with Stylus and Tablets. Naples Museum. Brogi 

Photograph 207 

A Tragic Mask. National Museum, Rome. Anderson 

Photograph 208 

The Temple of Juno Moneta on the Capitoline Hill in an 

Artist's Restoration. From Buhlmann and Von Wagner, 

DasAUeRom 211 

Altar Fragment Found in Rome. National Museum, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph 213 

Aeneas Wounded. Naples Museum. Brogi Photograph . 218 
Surgical Instruments from Pompeii. Naples Museum. 

Brogi Photograph 220 

Hippocrates, the First Great Greek Physician. Capitoline 

Museum. Alinari Photograph 221 

Coins of the Late Republic and Early Empire. British 

Museum. From Rostovtzeff, A History of the Ancient 

World, Rome 226 

Lucius Caecilius Jucundus. Naples Museum. Brogi 

Photograph 228 

Foruin and Capitol Restored. Ullman and Henry, New 

Elementary Latin 232 

Ancient Writing Materials. Ullman and Henry, Third 

Latin Book .235 

The Tomb Relief of the JEIateiii. Lateran Museum, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph . 237 



Oven and Mills. Pompeii. Brogi Photograph . . . 239 
A Cloth Sale. Uffizi Gallery, Florence. From Rostovtzeff, 

A History of the Ancient World 240 

Loading a Grain Ship. Ullman and Henry, New Elementary 

Latin 242 

A Merchant's Tombstone. Naples Museum . . . 244 
Blacksmith's Tools. From Curie, A Roman Frontier Post . 246 
Cupids as Fullers. House of the Vettii, Pompeii. Alinari 

Photograph 247 

Cupids as Goldsmiths. House of the Vettii, Pompeii. 

Alinari Photograph 249 

The Church of Saint Francis and the Plain of Assisi. 

Anderson Photograph 252 

Campanile and Landscape at San Severino. Author's 

Photograph 255 

An Olive Crusher and a Hand-Mill for Grain. Pompeii. 

Alinari Photograph 262 

Plowing in Modern Italy. Photograph by Henry C. Atyeo 264 
A Modern Plow near Rome. Author's Photograph . . 266 
Marcus Tullius Cicero. Vatican Museum. Anderson 

Photograph 268 

Gaius Julius Caesar. Naples Museum. Brogi Photograph 272 
An Unidentified Roman. Naples Museum. Brogi Photograph 274 

The Youthful Marcus Aurelius 276 

Marcus Aurelius in Triumphal Procession. Palace of the 

Conservators, Rome. Anderson Photograph . . . 278 
A Vestal Virgin. National Museum, Rome. Anderson 

Photograph 281 

The Temple of the Great Mother of the Gods on the Palatine 

Hill. Photograph by Charles O'Connor . . . .283 
Marcus Aurelius Worships before the Temple of Jupiter on 

the Capitol. Palace of the Conservators, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph 284 

A Roman Sacrifice. Vatican Museum, Rome. Anderson 

Photograph 287 


A Boy Society Honors Diana. Vatican Library, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph ....... 289 

An Early Round Temple in Rome. Ullman and Henry, 

Third La* Book ........ 293 

On the Alban Mount. Author's Photograph . . . 295 
A Novel View of Saint Peter's. Author's Photograph . 297 

A Tragic Mask from the Villa of Hadrian. National 

Museum, Home. Anderson Photograph .... 299 
Cupids & a Chariot Race. Pompeii. Brogi Photograph 301 
An Aedile Giving the Signal at the Games. Palace of the 

Conservators, Rome. Alinari Photograph , . . 304 
The Theater of Marcellus in Rome. Anderson Photograph 310 
A Comic Actor and His Masks. Lateran Museum, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph ....... 312 

A Roman Theater at Merida in Spain. Author's Photo- 

graph .......... 317 

Plan of the Circus Maximus. Adapted from Platner, 

Topography and Monuments ...... 322 

The Head of a Circus Driver. National Museum, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph ....... 324 

A Chariot and His Horse. National Museum, Rome. 

Alinari Photograph ........ 327 

Restoration ol a Scene at the Races. From a Painting by 

Forti, Borne ......... 330 , 

A Charioteer with the Palm of Victory. Vatican Museum, 

Rome. Anderson Photograph ...... 331 

The Colosseum, Alinari Photograph ..... 334 

Gladiatorial Armor. Naples Museum. Brogi Photograph . 339 
A Representation of the Venatio ...... 341 

The Interior of the Colosseum To-day. Alinari Photograph 343 
The Amphitheater at Verona. Author's Photograph . . 347 
Plan of the Baths of Diocletian. Adapted from Platner, 

Topogr&phy wd Monuments ...... 353 

The Caldarium of the Stabian Baths in Pompoii. Brogi 

Photograph ......... 356 



A Restoration of the Interior of Caracalla's Baths. Ullman 

and Henry, New Elementary Latin 358 

A Fragment of the Baths of Diocletian, Author's Photograph 359 
Bath Ruins at Carthage. Author's Photograph . . . 361 
A Restoration of the Lower Campus Martius from the 

Capitoline Hill. From Buhlmann and Von Wagner, 

DasAlteRom 367 

The Gardens of Ancient Rome. Adapted from Lanciani, 

The Ruins and Excavations of Ancient Rome . . . 369 
A Modern Roman Public Garden. Author's Photograph . 371 
Children's Games in a Sarcophagus Relief, Vatican 

Museum, Rome. Anderson Photograph .... 373 
Wild Boar and Dogs. Naples Museum. Brogi Photograph 375 
Boxers with the Caestus, or Gloves. Lateran Museum, 

Rome. Anderson Photograph 376 

The Emperor Vespasian. Capitoline Museum, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph . 380 

Marble Portraits of Romans. Naples Museum. Brogi 

Photograph 385 

Portraits of Roman Women. National Museum, Rome. 

Anderson Photograph 388 

Crumbling Rome. Author's Photograph . . . .391 
Marble Portraits of Romans. Naples Museum. Brogi 

Photograph 396 

The Peristyle of a Pompeian House. From a painting by 

Bazzani. Gramstorff Brothers, Inc., Maiden, Mass. . 399 
Spartacus in Prison. From "Spartacus" .... 407 

The Tullianum. Alinari Photograph 414 

A Roman Lying in State. Lateran Museum, Rome . . . 419 
The Appian Way about Three Miles from Rome. Anderson 

Photograph 422 

The Forum Restored as Seen from the Temple of Julius 

Caesar. Tognetti, Rome 425 

The Tombstone of Minicia Marcella. National Museum, 

Rome. Author's Photograph 429 



The Cremation and Apotheosis of the Empress Sabina. 

Capitoline Museum, Rome. Anderson Photograph . . 432 

The Roman Empire about A.D. 64 439 

The Emperor Trajan and His Lictors. Lateran Museum, 

Rome. Anderson Photograph 441 

The Emperor Marcus AureUus Receiving the Northern 

Barbarians in Submission. Palace of the Conservators, 

Rome. Anderson Photograph 444 

A Roman Aqueduct in Spain. Author's Photograph . . 447 
The Roman Bridge over the Guadiana at Merida in Spain. 

Author's Photograph 450 

The Emperor and the Genius of Rome. Palace of the 

Conservators, Rome. Anderson Photograph . . . 454 
Roman Cavalry. Ullman and Henry, Second Latin*Book . 457 
Caesar's Defenses at Alesia. Ullman and Henry, Second 

Latin Book 460 

The Statue of Vercingetorix at Alesia. Author's Photograph 461 
A Military Roll. Vatican Museum, Rome. Anderson 

Photograph 463 

A Model of Ancient Roman Artillery. Ullman and Henry, 

Second Latin Book 465 

The Roman Empire at Its Greatest Extent . . . 472-473 
A Bireme. Vatican Museum, Rome. Anderson Photograph 476 
Mosaic at Ostia Showing a Port. Anderson Photograph . 478 

A Trireme. From "Ben Hur" 482 

The Sacred Way in Rome. Author's Photograph . . 48? 
The Appian Way Two Miles from Rome. Photograph by 

Mrs. W. G. Phelps 489 

A Mosaic on the Floor of Baths in Ostia. Anderson Photo- 
graph 492 

The Roman Empire in the Time of Constantino I . . 495 
The Emperor and Empress on the Road. From a Painting 

by Forti, Rome 497 

A Roman Galley. From "Ben Hur" 500 

A Basilica Interior. Ullman and Henry, Third Latin Book 505 



Plan of the Forum, A.D. 64. From Tucker, Life in the 

Roman World of Nero and St. Paul 510 

The Emperor Antoninus Pius. Vatican Museum. Ander- 
son Photograph 514 

Imperium Romanum. (in color) . . . between 514-515 
A Restoration of the Quirinal Region. From Buhlmann and 

Von Wagner, Das AUe Rom 521 

Roman Africa 524 

Roman Temple at Tebessa. Author's Photograph . . 527 

Sidi Okba. Author's Photograph 529 

The Byrsa, or Citadel, of Carthage. Author's Photograph 532 
The Temple of Dea Caelestis, or Tanit, at Dougga. 

Author's Photograph 535 

The Ruins of Timgad. Author's Photograph . . . 541 

The Amphitheater at Carthage. Author's Photograph . 543 

Hispania .......... 546 

The Aqueduct at Segovia. Author's Photograph . . 549 

The Amphitheater at Italica. Author's Photograph . . 553 

The Harbor at Cadiz, the Ancient Gades. Author's Photograph 555 
Restored Bridge and Gate of the Saalburg. Ullman and 

Henry, New Elementary Latin 558 

Restored Tower of the Saalburg. Ullman and Henry, 

Second Latin Book 560 

Roman Britain 563 

Altar Found in Scotland. From Curie, A Roman Frontier Post 564 
The Roman Wall in Britain. From Haverfield, The Roman 

Occupation of Britain 568 

Christian Inscriptions from the Catacombs of Saint Calixtus. 

National Museum, Rome. Alinari Photograph . . 573 
A Sculptured Christian Sarcophagus. Lateran Museum, 

Rome. Anderson Photograph 576 

A Relief from a Christian Sarcophagus. Lateran Museum, 

Rome. Anderson Photograph 579 

Rome from the Palatine. Author's Photograph . . . 580 

Rome from the American Academy 585 


VIBGHI,, Georgia n, 17i 


AUSONIITS, Ordo Urbium tfobiliwn 1 




As far back as the time of Virgil, whose birth took place 
two thousand years ago, men spoke of Rome as the Eternal 
City. The world still uses the phrase, and the person is 
rarely met who does not know that it means the city of Rome. 

"The Eternal City" is not only an attractive phrase, but 
a truthful one. There has never been a time since its found- 
ing when Rome was not a living city, and since the Roman 
State first spread beyond the bounds of Italy there has never 
been a time when Rome was not important to the world. 
Nor does its importance wane to-day. Rome in the 
twentieth century is a living, growing, vigorous, ambitious 
capital, the capital of a great nation as well as the capita.1 
of a world-wide church. 

A city which has endured for upwards of three thousand 
years, which for over two thousand years has been a promi- 
nent figure in the affairs of men, and which for twenty cen- 
turies has been called Eternal, is not like other cities. We 
owe it to our intelligence as citizens of the modem world to 
understand the Meaning of Rome. 


The most direct way of beginning the study of Rome'y 
meaning is to see the land of Italy and the city of Rome as 
they are to-day. We shall be in a great company if we do 
this. One million strangers entered Italy in 1925 from every 
quarter of the world, and among them were hundreds of 
thousands from the Americas. 

The distance from Chicago to New York is about nine 
hundred miles ; from New York to a French port, such as 
Cherbourg, the distance is about three thousand miles; 
and from Cherbourg through Paris, Dijon, Modane, Turin, 
Genoa, and Pisa to Rome, about nine hundred and fifty 
miles. The distance from Chicago to Rome is thus about 
five thousand miles. As both cities are approximately 42 
north latitude, Rome is directly east of Chicago. We think 
of Italy and Rome as southern because of their warmth and 
because in English literature we read of them as in the south. 

The route from any part of America to Italy is marked by 
much that is related to Italian lands. There are Italian- 
Americans in almost every city, and many public buildings, 
including the great State Capitols, owe their character to 
Italian or ancient Roman architecture. The same is even 
more true in France, where there are also actual ruins of an- 
cient Roman times. Between Paris and Dijon, for example, 
are the remains of Alesia, high on a hill, the last refuge of 
Vercingetorix from Caesar. A great statue of the Gallic 
'.eader is visible from the train. 



The Kingdom of Italy, of which Rome has been the capital 
since July 2, 1871, and into which one descends pleasantly 
by electric train through the eight-mile tunnel of the Mont 
Cenis route at Modane, consists principally of the mainland 
of Italy and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. Its area, 
119,000 square miles, is about that of Nevada, about two 


I The dome owes its character to St. Paul's in London, which derives from St. 
Peter's in Rome, which in turn derives from ancient Rome. 

and one half times that of New York, and more than twice 
that of Wisconsin. Sicily and Sardinia are each about ten 
thousand square miles, the size of Vermont. The Apennines 
form the great backbone of the peninsula, yet Italy is agri- 
cultural, and rich in grains, fruits, oil, and wine "the 
garden of the world," in Byron's well-known phrase. The 
Piave, the Brenta, the Adige, the Po, the Arno, the Tiber, 

. ITALY TO-D/-Y 9 

and the Volturno are the principal streams ; there are beauti- 
ful lakes in the neighborhood of Rome and on the northern 
border ; and there are fine harbors at Genoa, Spezia, Naples, 
Messina, Palermo, Taranto, Bari, Ancona, Venice, and 
Trieste. Italy has extensive colonial possessions in Africa, 
including Tripolitania. >] 

The government of Italy is a constitutional monarchy. 
The reigning sovereign is Victor Emmanuel III, who suc- 
ceeded Humbert in 1900, who in 1878 succeeded Victor Em- 
manuel II of Savoy and Sardinia, the first king of Italy. 
The Kingdom of Italy came into being in 1860, when Sicily 
and South Italy, conquered by Giuseppe Garibaldi, were 
annexed to the kingdom of Victor Emmanuel in the north 
of Italy. In 1870, the States of the Church, occupying 
Central Italy and Rome and thus dividing North from 
South, were also annexed, and the temporal dominion of the 
Church restricted to the Vatican quarter of Rome, which on 
February 11, 1929, became the Vatican State. In 1918, as 
a result of the World War, the Austrian portions of Italy 
south of the Alps about Trieste and Trent, and the port of 
Zara on the east shore of the Adriatic, were added. Italy 
now has a population of about forty millions. 

The active conduct of government in Italy is in the hands 
of the cabinet or council, whose head is president of the 
council, or prime minister. The prime minister since 1922 
is Benito Mussolini, The law-making bodies are the cham- 
ber of deputies, about five hundred representatives chosen 
by vote of the people, and the senate, composed of an un- 
restricted number appointed for life because of distinction 
in various important callings. The kingdom is divided 
into ninety-two provinces, including the new provinces in 
Trent and the Trieste region, and the province of Zara. 
Italy proper contains seventy-nine, the remainder, except 


Zara, being in Sicily and Sardinia. All are under the 
jurisdiction of an equal number of prefects and provincial 
councils, each with its seat in nhe provincial capital. The 
provinces, or counties, are further divided, the smallest unit 
being the commune. There are more than eight thousand 
communes, each likewise with a council and under the 
authority of a sindaco. Since October, 1922, when the 
Fascist! under their organizer Mussolini took over authority > 
the working of the Italian constitution has been of necessity 
irregular, but is gradually approaching the normal. The 
Fascisti rose to prominence in 1919 as a much-needed pro- 
test against the laxities and disloyalties that followed the 

Besides the provinces, there are other divisions of Italy 
whose names are much used. Every reader is familiar with 
Tuscany, Lombardy, Piedmont, Venetia, the Marches, 
Romagna, TJmbria, and Calabria. These, and as many 
more, represent the old-time dukedoms and principalities 
whose union made possible the present kingdom. Many cu 
them, like Campania, Latium, and Umbria, were known 
by the same names in the times of Caesar, Cicero, and VirgiL 
The Italian language as variously spoken in them results in 
the many dialects of Italy. The Piedmontese find it diffi- 
cult to talk with the Neapolitans, the Calabrians with the 
Venetians; though the language written and spoken in 
Florence is the standard and is universal with educated 


The capital of United Italy, at first in Turin, where the 
first parliament met in 1861, was fixed at Florence in 1864, 
and in 1871 was transferred to Rome, which had fallen 
before the national army on the twentieth of September, 
1870. It was one of the greatest testimonials to the power 
still exercised by the name of Rome that not only Italy but 
the sentiment of the world in general demanded the location 
of the modern capital in the seat of the ancient. 

Rome to-day is approached by rail through Turin, Genoa, 
and Pisa from the northwest; through Como, Milan, and 
Florence from the north; through the mountains from 
Ancona and the east coast, and by two routes from Naples 
and the south, the older inland, and the newer the short line 
along the west coast. It lies on the Tiber seventeen miles 
from the sea, in the midst of a rolling plain called the Cam- 
pagna, which includes in general the flat parts of ancient 
Latium. The .Qampagna is about forty miles wide from the 
sea to its north^ancl-east boundary, the Apennines, and is 
twice as long fro^n 'nortiwest to southeast, with limits not 
so definite. 

At twenty-flye miles to the north of Rome the train from 
Florence passes Mount Soracte, made famous by Horace. 
The train from the Adriatic and the east, as it leaves the 
Apennines eighteen miles from Rome, passes througji Tivoli, 
Horace's ancient Tibur, where the "headlong Auio," prae- 
ceps Anio, plunges its three hundred feet down from the 


mountains into the plain. The train from Naples, twenty 
miles before reaching Rome, skirts the Alban Mount, which 
rises out of the plain three thousand feet and forms the most 
striking feature in the Roman landscape. 

The city of Rome to-day has a population of more than 
nine hundred thousand. The Rome of ancient times may 
have contained above a million. The area occupied by the 
modern city approximates a circle with a diameter of four 
miles. The ancient city was somewhat less in extent, but 
more thickly populated. The great wall of Aurelian, built 
in its first form by Aurelian, emperor, A.D. 270-276, still 
stands, and is eleven miles in circumference, inclosing an 
area a little over three miles in diameter. The city of to- 
day extends far beyond it in many directions, but only the 
northern half of the city inside the wall is densely populated ; 
the southern half is occupied by great areas containing only 
ruins and excavations, and by smaller areas containing 
modern houses. 

We may think of the modern city as consisting of four 
parts. First, there are the vast spaces of ruin and empti- 
ness and partial occupation that compose the southern por- 
tion. These include the Roman Forum and tiie Palatine 
Hill, maintained by the Government as national reserves, 
the Colosseum, and many other ancient monuments. 
Second, there is the newer part within the walls, mostly in 
the north and northeast and belonging to the early decades 
of the past sixty years. The railway terminus, dating from 
1870, is in this part, on the broad plateau of the Quirinal 
and the Esquiline. Third, there is the older part, from one 
to four centuries old, extending from the Capitoline Hill 
and the Tiber Island on the south to the Porta del Popolo 
on the north and including the entire Campus Martius, with 
Traistevere and the Borgo across the river. Fourth, there 


are the newest quarters, mostly outside the wall of Aurelian, 
and all belonging to the past thirty years. These new por- 
tions include the Prati, near the Mausoleum of Hadrian to 
the north of Saint Peter's, the area outside the northeastern 
gates, and the district about the Porta San Paolo to the 
south. The population of the city has tripled in sixty 
years, and is constantly increasing. 

Rome to-day is neither a great commercial city nor an 
industrial center nor a port, though it is a railway center. 
Its manufactures are few, and chiefly in the arts and crafts. 
Its trade is mainly of the slighter sort that ministers to the 
daily and occasional needs of a large permanent population 
increased by countless travelers. Rome is the national 
capital ; it is the capital of the Roman Catholic Church ; it 
contains the ruins of the capital of the ancient world ; it is 
in Italy, 

"The garden of the world, the home 
Of all Art yields and Nature can decree." 

Its greatest industry is th^ care of the stranger within the 
gates of those who come from the ends of Italy to manage 
the multitudinous affairs of State and Church, and of those 
who come from the ends of the earth to see the world's most 
famous city. 



There was a time when Rome was not, and when the 
Seven Hills rose uninhabited out of a leafy and grassy wilder- 
ness. There was a time before that when there were >no 
Seven Hills, but all the Campagna region was under the sea, 
and the mouths of the Tiber and the Anio were among the 
hills at the foot of the Apennines. 

The Roman Campagna is a volcanic region. The living 
craters of Aetna and Vesuvius, and the dead craters of the 
Roman neighborhood, are the signs of a long line of weak- 
ness in the earth's crust. While a broad bay still rested 
over the future site of Rome, so geology tells us, upheavals 
and eruptions covered and elevated the bed of the sea until 
the land appeared above the waters. The surface thus 
formed was then furrowed by the abundantly flowing streams 
of geologic times and further modified by the volcanic rise 
of the Alban Mountains in its midst until the landscape 
was formed which we know to-day. 

Into this rolling, hummocky plain of primitive times 
came the first dwellers in the Roman region. They were 
the wandering cave-men of the Old Stone Age, and they lived 
their scant and straggling life many thousands of years 
before Rome began. After them came the men of the Late 
Stone Age, a part of the wave that came over the Alps from 
France or up from Sicily and the south, and after these a 
wave from over the Alps, a part of the migrant movement 
that earlier peopled Greece with the Doric race. 



This later wave was of Indo-European stock, and it 
blended with the Mediterranean race upon which it came 
as it spread throughout the Italian land. Its men were 
probably the first to settle on the Seven Hills beside the 
Tiber, a thousand years or more before the time of Livy and 
Virgil, who could only try, as we are trying, to see in imagina- 
tion the earliest men of Rome. 

The story of the rise and growth of the ancient city will 
best be told by setting down the various phases through 
which it passed. Seven may be mentioned here, in most of 
which Rome has a definite boundary marked by a wall. 

First, there was the Palatine City. The earliest form of 
Rome came into existence when the strongest of the shepherd 
settlements which had already been made on the little heights 
along the Tiber by the race from over the Alps assumed a 
leadership, improved its defenses by building a wall of 
stone about its hill, and became known as Roma, the River 
City. This city was on the Palatine, the most inviting and 
most convenient of the hills. It was about one hundred 
and fifty feet above the Tiber level, had an area of forty 
acres, and was about a quarter of a mile square. 

Second, the Septimontium. This form of the city in- 
cluded the Palatine and the skirts of the Caelian Hill to the 
east and of the Esquiline to the northeast. The five dis- 
tricts or precincts which now were added to the two precincts 
of the Palatine had probably hitherto been separate villages. 
It is likely that the added portions also were fortified, but 
with less substantial walls than those of the Palatine. 

Third, the City of the Four Regions. The four regions, 
or wards, reached farther over the Caelian and the Esquiline, 
taking in the Oppian and Cispian, which were spurs of the 
Esquiline, and included also two new hills, the Quirinal and 
die Viminal. The names of the regions were Palatina, 


Suburana, Esquilina, and Collina. The Collina, or Hill 
Region, consisted of the Quirinal and Viminal, which the 
Romans always called colles, hills, while they called the other 
hills monies. It is doubtful whether this form of the city 
was walled at every point. 

Fourth, the City of Servius. The Servian City is named 
from Servius Tullius, the sixth king of Rome. It reached 
out to the south and took in the Aventine ; to the north it 
included the remaining area of the Esquiline and Viminal 
and Quirinal ; and to the west it added the Capitoline. The 
wall which inclosed it is still to be seen in about thirty frag- 
ments, some of them quite imposing. The most remarkable 
are near the railway station and at the south of the Aventine. 

Fifth, the City of the Republic. By this is meant the 
city as it grew during the five centuries from the expulsion 
of the Tarquins in 509 B..C. to the time of Augustus and the 
Empire. There was no walling of Rome during this period, 
unless it is true, as has been suspected, that the defense 
called the Servian Wall belongs to the fourth century instead 
of the sixth when Servius reigned. The Roman State had 
by this time pushed its boundaries so widely into the outside 
world that the capital was far from danger. The city of 
Cato, who lived from 234 to 149 before Christ, had grown 
beyond its now useless walls, and numbered upward of half 
a million. 

Sixth, the City of Augustus, or the City of the Fourteen 
Regions. This was the City of the Republic set in order, 
increased, and beautified. It was divided into fourteen 
wards, one of which was beyond the Tiber; it was well 
watered, perhaps fairly well lighted, and well policed, and 
was rapidly changing from brick to marble. The old wall 
of Servius was hard to find among the buildings of a city 
which had long since grown over and bevond it, and the lejral 



city 1imit ; extended more than once in the five hundred 
years of the Republic, was pierced at thirty-seven points 
by as many roads to Rome, and inclosed a city ten miles in 


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V ' ' ^-. ' / 

H'-- v ^ v '\ ' Vft-'/ : V ''''>-'"i\-'. 

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The greater part still exists. Here it borders the Protestant Cemetery, in which 
are the tombs of Keats and Shelley. 

Seventh, the City of Aurelian, In alarm at the threats 
of invasion from beyond the Alps, Aurelian and Probus in 
A.D. 272-276 reared the mighty wall which bears the former's 
name and still exists. In brick and concrete twelve feet 
thick, rising sometimes to sixty feet, with loopholed gal- 
leries, and with parapet crowned in the course of its eleven 
miles by nearly four hundred towers, it was the last wall to 
girdle the city in ancient times. 


It would be interesting to continue with other phases of 
the city the sinking Pagan city that fell a prey to Alaric 
in A.D. 410 ; the Christian city rising in its midst ; the ruined 
and empty Rome of the Middle Ages ; the city of the Renais- 
sance and Raphael, spreading from Saint Peter's into the 
Campus Martius at the bend of the Tiber, and surrounded 
by spacious fields made picturesque by ancient monuments ; 
and the city of the pope-monarchs which had to yield when 
Italy knocked at the gates. Here, however, it is ancient 
Rome with which we are concerned. 

In speaking of the city's earliest forms, the chronicler can 
use no dates at all, and very few names. There is little 
that is definite in the story of Rome before the Republic. 
That there were kings, and many of them, there is no doubt, 
and it is certain that the Etruscans at one time were its 
rulers for a hundred years or more. That the city began 
and grew in some such way as we have described, there is 
also no doubt. It has been agreed to speak of the founding 
of Rome as taking place on the twenty-first of April, 753 B.C., 
and the date is celebrated every year in Rome, and has been 
celebrated from time to time since ancient days. It has 
been agreed to speak of the last king's reign as ending in 
509 B.C. These dates, and all the other dates and names 
and events of the Rome of the Kings, belong to legend 
rather than history ; but there is no harm in supposing that 
legend here is a substantial indication of the truth. Of 
recent years, the tendency has been to see in the tales of 
Livy and Virgil something more than the story-telling of 
patriot and poet. 



It is our wont to speak of Rome as a conquering state, 
and to think of its expansion into the empire that ruled the 
ancient world as due to the calculating and selfish use of 
power. Conquest by force of arms, however, is only one oi 
the many ways by which an empire comes to pass. There 
are also the interests of trade, the appeal of convenience or 
economy in administration, the feeling for language or reli- 
gion, the desire for cooperation or the need of protection, or 
even mere sentiment begotten by some trifling incident 
that catches the fancy and stirs the hearts of men. All 
these, as well as the passion for power, may be the causes 
of a state's expansion. 

Yet we may go even deeper, and think of the Roman 
State as a product of nature. In part, at least, it grew as 
any plant or other living organism grows, because of the 
irresistible urge of life whose law is growth. 

The first expansions of Rome took place when the little 
communities on the neighboring hills were united with the 
Palatine City. We have seen the original city become the 
Septimontium, and the Septimontium expand into the City 
of Four Regions. It is likely that the annexations then 
involved were the peaceable arrangements of men who 
recognized the common interest. 

This, however, is the expansion of the city, and it is the 
State which now concerns us. There was a period during 
which the territory covered by the city was identical with 



the total area of the State ; but this was very brief. The 
city soon established its formal rule over the neighboring 
pastures and tilth, and the real expansion of the Roman 
State had begun. 

When Rome emerges from the legendary time of the kings 
in 509 B.C. as the Republic, its territory still is very small. 
The Etruscans across the Tiber hem it in from west and 
north, to north and east the still unfriendly Sabines and 
Aequians and Hernicans are only some twenty or thirty 
miles away, and to east and south the Latins are still masters 
of themselves. The Roman State consists of lands perhaps 
twenty-five miles by ten, bounded clearly by the Tiber and 
the sea, and less precisely by the mountain limits of the 
plain. In the Latin League of the year 500 B.C., the Latins, 
the nearest kin of Rome, have not yet admitted to their 
fellowship the city on the Tiber. 

The expansion of Rome, however, is not long delayed, 
and, once begun, it has a sure and rapid progress. By 
493 B.C., Rome is a member of the League. In 487 B.C. she 
breaks the Hernican power, and in 486 B.C. the Hernicans 
are with her against the Volscians and Aequians to their 
south and north. By 431 B.C. these two nations no longer 
oppose her, and she is the leader, if not the ruler, of 
all the peoples east of the Tiber to the Apennines and 
south of Mount Soracte to the sea. Her lands form a tri- 
angular territory some forty miles along the Tiber by 
seventy-five along the sea and about the same along the 
mountains. It is a territory whose bounds are set by 
nature and whose peoples have much in common. 

The next expansion is into lands across the Tiber. The 
Etruscans who once controlled Rome are finally made less 
dangeroi^.hpr tha-f^U of Veil in the ten-year siege that ended 
in 396 B.C. The final and unsuccessful stand of Etruria in 


became a Roman province with the taking of Corinth in 
146 B.C., the year in which Carthage finally was destroyed 
and the north of Africa annexed. At this time the sway 
of Rome, though not in every part consolidated, extended 
from Spain to Syria and from the Rhone Valley to the coasts 
of Africa. The Mediterranean was a Roman sea, but not 
yet cleared of perils from pirates and the fleets of less 
irregular foes of Rome. 

It was not until Augustus' time that this vast territory, 
with areas later added, was firmly knit together within the 
boundary which remained so long the definite limit of the 
civilized world. At the end of the Emperor's reign, in 
A.D. 14, the Empire's limit was marked on the north by the 
English Channel, the Rhine, the Danube, and the Black 
Sea, and was uncertain only as the eagles advanced beyond 
the Rhine. On the south, the Sahara was the bound, with 
the Nile Valley at its eastern end. On the west was the 
ocean, and on the east a line that never could quite be 
counted on, from the eastern end of the Black Sea to Syria 
on the south, and thus to Egypt, with allied states like 
Palmyra to mediate between Rome and the distant Arme- 
nians and Parthians in the north and the restless desert 
peoples in the south. The boundary of the Augustan Em- 
pire was practically the permanent limit of the Romaic 
State for nearly five hundred years. It was altered once, 
when Claudius conquered Britain, for whose protection 
Hadrian and Antoninus built th/3 walls on the Scottish 
border which are still to be seen; again, when Trajan in 
A.D. 106 annexed what is now Roumania, then called Dacia ; 
and lastly, when the Euphrates was made more surely the 
eastern border. Aside from these changes, the line between 
Rome and barbarism was constant until the weakening of 
the fourth and fifth centuries resulted in its obliteration a? 


the outside world came over the bounds to conquer and be 
blended with the older civilization. 

The rise of the Roman State should not be thought of 
as merely the growth of a military power. During the thou- 
sand years or more of its experience as a rising and ruling 
state, its conflicts of arms with the enemy abroad were not 
its only or even its greatest struggles. While the struggle 
to advance the borders and to maintain the integrity of the 
State was going on along the far-flung battle lines of the Re- 
public and Empire, another struggle was going on in the 
Roman Forum and in the. Roman senate house. In this 
struggle it was not the right of the State to further territory 
that constituted the spoils of war, but the right of the citizen 
to further liberty. 

The struggle was long and obstinate, and not without 
its victories. Here are some of the rights conceded only 
after long contention and frequent violence : the right of 
the people to be ruled by elected officeholders; the right 
to the control of the officeholders by means of tribunes 
with veto power ; the right themselves to hold the various 
offices of quaestor, aedile, praetor, and consul ; the right of 
Ihe plebeian to marry into the patrician class ; the right to 
limit the amount of land to be owned by the rich man ; the 
right to share in the ownership of the land ; the right to a 
reward from the conquered lands at the end of military 
service; the rigjit to state support in the distribution of' 

It took two hundred and fifty years for the common people 
of Rome to finish the series of struggles for the right of 
holding office by seating their first pontifex maximus. The 
question of land limitation against the rich and land privilege 
in favor of the poor runs through five hundred years of 
Roman history, and cost the lives of many noble men. The 


struggle between the orders was long and bitter, but from It 
the world came off with profit. The lessons of the Roman 
Republic were not forgotten in the Empire. They passed 
into the world's greatest code of law, and into the modem 
code of civic morality. 


Now that we have become acquainted with Rome to-day 
as the capital of the United Kingdom of Italy and Sicily, 
and have seen the origin and growth of ancient Rome and 
the Roman State of which it was the center, and have 
thus constructed a setting for Eternal Rome, let us return 
to the statement with which we began, that Rome is differ- 
ent from other cities, and that wa owe it to ourselves 
to understand what makes it so. Let us look more closely 
into the relation between ancient Rome and our own 

To state at once and briefly this relation, the civilization 
in which we live is descended from that of ancient Rome. 
Our life to-day is a continuation of the life of the ancient 
Romans. The blood ancestry of America is to be found in 
various nations of Europe and other parts of the world, 
but our culture traces back to Rome. American civiliza- 
tion is essentially English. The present character of Eng- 
land's culture is due to the coming of the Normans in 1066, 
the date of the Battle of Hastings. The Norman culture 
grew out of the French, and the French resulted from Julius 
Caesar's conquest of Gaul in 58 B.C. to 49 B.C. The stream 
of history flows from Italy to France, from France to Eng- 
land, from England to America. It has flowed to us through 
other channels also through France directly without pass- 
ing to England, through Spain, through Holland, through 
Germany, and from Italy straight across the ocean ; but 



our language and our ways of thinking and acting have come 
to us in largest part on the current that flowed from English 
shores. We are Anglo-Romans, or Anglo-Latins. The 
civilization of the United States and Canada is really Latip, 
and only less unmixed than that of the Latin races. 

But this claim will seem better founded if we look at our 
modern culture in detail. What are some of the factors 
that go to make up the cultural environment which makes 
it possible for us to enjoy the life, liberty, and pursuit of 
happiness which we call our inalienable rights, and what in 
each case is our debt to ancient Rome? 

First, there is language. About sixty per cent of the 
words in the English tongue are descended, through Norman- 
French, modern French, Italian, and Spanish, and directly, 
from the Latin. You cannot read with the same precise 
understanding, and you cannot speak or write with the same- 
intimate, accurate, refined, and rich command of English, 
unless you know the language which lies at its foundation. 
Nor is, it true that the Latin part of English consists only 
of long, stately, and unnecessary words, and that simple 
Anglo-Saxon would and should suffice. Try sometime to 
write or speak without using pen or pin, date, fate, rate, or 
state, class or glass, face, space, grace, or case, cause or clause, 
form or grade or foci or grand, or a hundred other words of 
one syllable which are Latin ; or try to get on without the 
host of Latin words in two syllables, like honor, glory, music, 
money, language. Try to write a paragraph or to talk a 
quarter of an hour without using words of Latin origin at 
all. English is the richest of the world's languages, and it 
is the richest because it is a composite of many languages, 
but chiefly of Latin and Anglo-Saxon, with all the resource- 
fulness in clarity, precision, rhythm, harmony, variety, 
fitness, and freshness that belongs to a tongue abounding ir 


words and phrases of identical meaning but different in 
origin and character. 



OMM15UN WAMOU5iaOCXMl I5tyf NIT AI0110- 


. 'ne 67 of Eclogue IX and lines 1-21 of Eclogue X. This manuscript, in the 
Vatican Library, is about 1500 years old. 

Second, there is literature. We may dismiss this briefly 
3y saying that English and American literature as a whole 
s very imperfectly read by those who are unacquainted 


with the Latin language and literature and with Roman 
history. Milton, Spenser, Grey, Dryden, Byron, Thackeray, 
and Shakespeare himself, abound in contacts with Roman 
and Italian letters. To remove from English literature all 
allusions, inspirations, and imitations due to ancient Rome 
would be to wreck it quite as badly as the language we speak 
would be wrecked if all its Latin words were canceled. 

Third, there is the field of art. Our sculpture shows at 
a glance its origin in Italy, Rome, and Greece. The paint- 
ing of the Italian Renaissance, from which all modern paint- 
ing took its lessons, is rich with Roman subject matter and 
shows direct descent from the Roman Empire through the 
mosaics and manuscript illuminations of Byzantine and 
medieval times, and through the pictures on the walls of 
the catacombs and earliest churches. Our architecture 
shows on every street how much we owe to ancient Rome. 
Our great capitol buildings, our banks and railroad stations, 
our university halls and our libraries, with their pillars and 
arcades and domes and vaults and coffered ceilings, all lead 
us back to Italy and Rome. There is hardly a dome in 
America which is not to be traced either through the capitol 
at Washington and Saint Paul's in London to Saint Peter'p 
in Rome and thus to ancient Rome, or to Saint Peter's 
directly and thus more quickly to ancient Rome. If you 
live in a city of any size, you are never far from the visible 
influence of Rome. 

Fourth, there is law. The Roman State was the world's 
great laboratory of law. The thousand years and more 
from the time the Romans emerge into history at the be- 
ginning of the Republic to the times of Justinian after the 
fall of the Western Empire represent the experience of a 
great race in the search for justice. That experience, ex- 
pressed in the great Code of Justinian, which was completed 



-ox A.D. 528^534, was Rome's greatest contribution to the 
world. Romar law is in operation still in Italy, in France, 
in Spain and Latin America, in Louisiana, Porto Rico, and 
the Philippines, and in the government of the 

The coffered vaulting, the great columns, the arches and mouldings, and the sizo 
make it similar to the Baths of Caracalla or the Basilica of Constantino, whose ruin* 
in Rome have been the inspiration of many modern buildings. 

Catholic Church- Even in the United States at large, in 
the British Empire, and in the Mohammedan countries, to 
which its descent was less direct, its influence is profound. 
With the migrations of the Latin and British peoples and . 



with the spread of the Church, Roman law has touched every 
part of the world. 

Fifth, there is religion. The Christian faith, spreading 
at first from Palestine to the cities of Asia Minor and Gieece, 
emerges into the light at Rome in Nero's reign, and soon has 


This and fifteen other State Capitol domes, with the National Capitol Dome, 
trace back through Saint Paul's in London to Saint Peter's in Renaissance Rome, 
dad thus to ancient Rome. 

its greatest center there. From Romans of every class, 
tired of the vanities and the selfishness and hardness of the 
old society, the new religion gathered its faithful ; from the 
Roman house, basilica, and temple, it received the sugges- 
tions resulting in the architecture of its places of meeting ; 
and into the vast framework of the Roman Empire the new 


Jife of Christian civilization gradually grew, to take the 
place of the old when Pagan civilization declined. "That 
ihe working of unspeakable grace might be spread throughout 
the whole world/ 7 wrote Leo the Great, Pope from A.D. 440 
to A.D. 461, "Divine Providence prepared the Roman 

Sixth, there is morality. The morals of our own day are 
the morals of ancient Rome. We owe their preservation 
and their currency to three things. First, the morality of 
pagan times passed into the Christian code of ethics. The 
enlightened ideas of Cicero in De Offiaiis were also the teach- 
ing of the Church. Second, Roman law itself was the em- 
bodiment of ancient ideas of right conduct, and brought 
them with it into modern law. Third, the Roman ideal of 
character has reached us in the history and literature that 
for countless generations have had a large place in the edu- 
cation of the ruling classes. Roman ideals of manhood and 
womanhood, of fatherhood and motherhood, of honor, faith, 
and patriotism, of loyalty and devotion, of personal bravery, 
of resoluteness and endurance, of purity and incorruptibil- 
ity, have entered into the fiber of human character through 
the centuries. 

The analysis of our modern civilization thus shows that 
we are still living in large part the life of ancient Rome. 
The civilization of to-day is not the work of to-day alone 
but an inheritance from the times when Rome was the 
Mother-city of the world. It is more than that; it is an 
inheritance from the total human past, for Rome herself 
transmitted to the nations of the modern world not only 
her own experience but that of the civilizations preceding 
her. Egypt, Chaldaea, Assyria, Greece, the nearer East, 
and Carthage, and ruder Germany, Gaul, and Spain, gave 
as well as received when they came under the sway of 


Roman arms and institutions. Rome was the heir of the 
ages. She became possessed of what the world had to give, 
lived it into her experience, set her seal upon it, conserved 
it, and bequeathed it to the medieval and modern world. 
She is the connecting link between her forerunners, be- 
ginning with Egypt, "the eldest daughter of civilization," 
and her descendants, ending with the twentieth century in 
the Americas. 

"She gathered together the precious metal of ancient civilization, 
fused and coined it anew, and put it once more into circulation. 
She was the lens which received, condensed, and transmitted the 
rays of human experience. She was the bridge to which all the 
ways of the old pagan times converged, and from which diverged 
all the ways of Christian times. She was the channel into which 
the streams of ancient civilization flowed together to mingle their 
waters before being swept on to divide and subdivide into the 
currents of modern civilization. The legacy of preceding ages, 
administered and increased by her, became the heritage of ageb 
succeeding. Whatever in the culture of our own day is held dear 
in art, literature, learning, in juristic or religious institutions 
is traceable first to Italy of the Renaissance, and then to ancient 
Rome, where it either came into being or was adapted to the needs 
of practical experience. The generations of to-day are still sub- 
jects of the empire of Rome. Her line is gone out through all the 
earth and her words to the end of the world." 

There is a building in modern Rome which stands as a 
symbol of what we have said. It is the Church of Santg 
Maria in Cosmedin, south of the Capitoline Hill and near the 
Tiber. It is a church in use to-day like any other church, 
and, by the uneducated or unobservant, might easily be 
thought a building of to-day. If it is looked at carefully, 
however, we soon become aware that its roof and stucco 
veneer are all of the exterior that make it modern. Its 
charming campanile belongs to the twelfth century; its 


campanile is of the twelfth century, and the church is built into and over an 
ancient edifice, probably a temple of Ceres. 


walls beneath the stucco are likewise medieval ; the pillars 
of its portico and the lintels of its doors are ancient Roman. 
If we enter into the calm spaces of its interior, we soon see 
that the organ, the hangings at door and window, the chairs 
in use at the Mass being said in the chapel at one side, the 
finish of the walls, and the ceiling, are the only modern parts. 
The mosaic of variegated marbles on whose exquisite pattern 
we tread is of the twelfth century, and the marble which 
was cut to make it came from the ruins of ancient Roman 
buildings. The columns that make the aisles are pillars 
from ancient temples or porticoes. The walls whose finish 
gives them a modern look are really medieval, and imbedded 
in them at intervals are the ancient Roman columns that 
belonged to the building into and over which the church was 
reared. This is not all. Under the floor of the church are 
the rugged walls of some structure belonging to times before 
the temple or portico, just as the temple or portico belongr 
to times before the church. If we hearken to the Mass, 
we know indeed that its message is for the confirmation and 
the inspiration and the consolation of the people of to-day ; 
but its language is the tongue of ancient Rome and its mes- 
sage unchanged by the passing of nearly twenty centuries 

The structure of modern culture is like the structure oi 
Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The untaught and the un- 
reflecting accept it without thought as the creation of recent 
times, and even deny its dependence upon antiquity ; and 
yet, were all that is ancient in its substance taken from it, 
the structure would collapse in terrible and hopeless ruin. 

Such is the meaning of ancient Rome to modern times. 
Ancient Rome is not a remote and unrelated time and place. 
The ancient Romans are our ancestors in the direct line. To 
be acquainted with them is to know our family history and. 
to receive its legacies and inspirations. To study the 


guage, literature, and history of ancient Rome is to contrib- 
ute not only to the formation of intellectual habit and to our 
understanding of the language we speak and write, but to 
our appreciation of the meaning of human life. 

"Whatever men may babble about modern education," 
wrote the Dutch novelist, Maarten Maartens, "two influ- 
ences, incomparable and consistent, confer on the human 
mind a free-masonry of refinement the study of the 
classics, and the appreciation of Italy." 




Thus far we have been occupied in contemplating the 
fact of Rome's existence, its long participation in the affairs 
of men, the nature of the land in which it stood and stands, 
the manner of its birth and rise to power, the growth 
of the State of which it was the capital, and the de- 
scent of its language, literature, art, law, religion, and 
morality through the ages and into the life of men to-day. 
We grouped these studies under the heading, Rome and Its 

The study of ancient Rome is at the same time an obliga- 
tion and a pleasure. It is an obligation because we are more 
intelligent as men and citizens if we know what our fore- 
runners have done and what their achievements have to do 
with life to-day. It is a pleasure because to meet our kins- 
men in culture a long way off and in a distant time is an ex- 
perience rich in human interest. Let us therefore enter 
actively upon a study of the ancient city and its life. 

The best plan for our purpose will be to make acquaintance 
with the Roman. Let us first of all know him as a person. 
Against the background of the physical Rome in which he 
lived, let us try to see him as he looked on the street, let us 
become acquainted with the social structure in which he 
moved, let us enter his house and see how he lived, look on 
at his nurture and education, become acquainted with the 
woman who bore h and the woman he married, accept 
his invitation to dinner and share in what he ate and drank, 
and take some account of how he spent his time. All this 
will place distinctly before us the man and woman whose 



lives went into the making of the culture to which our own 
is so much in debt. 

When we have been thus introduced to the Roman, we 
shall be prepared to go with him into the scenes of business 
and pleasure which made up his life as a citizen of the Roman 
State and its capital city, and to become acquainted in 
detail with the life of the Roman people. 


latter part of the first century, as numbering at least a 

There was no wall to inclose the city of Augustus. The 
wall called Servian had long since been obscured by the 
crowded buildings of an expanding capital, and was mostly 
inside the city limit. The limit or line that legally inclosed 
the Augustan city was nearly a circle about ten miles in cir- 
cumference. At some forty points the line was broken by 
entrances at which the city tax on produce from without 
was levied a manner of taxation employed by the cities of 
modern Italy up to its abolition in 1930. At points where 
the line was pierced by one of the great roads that came to 
the city from afar, doubtless the passage was marked by an 
archway or a gate. If it was a street or road of less impor- 
tance, the barrier was perhaps less formal. 

Yet the city straggled beyond even this ten-mile line. 
Julius Caesar's law providing that every owner for one mile 
beyond the gates should keep in repair the road that fronted 
his house was clearly evidence of much expansion in many 
directions, like that of Eome to-day. 

All roads led to the gates of Rome, and through them to 
the Roman Forum or near it. Here was the heart of the 
city and the Empire, and here, to mark the fact, was the 
Milliarium Aureum, the Golden Milestone, erected by Augus- 
tus, a column sheathed in gilded bronze on which were en- 
graved the names of the chief cities of the Roman world 
and their distances from the capital. 

The streets that led away to become the great roads out- 
side the city were like the spokes of a wheel. From the hill 
of the Capitol near the head of the Forum, there shot like an 
arrow to the north the Via Lata, which outside the city be- 
came the Via Flaminia and made for the Adriatic at Ari- 
Up the near-by depression between Quirinal and 



Viminal ran the street called Vicus Longus, which emerged 
from the old Colline Gate of the Servian Wall and as it left 
the Augustan limit ran straight ahead toward Nomentum, 
or turned to the left and made for the Via Salaria, the Tiber 
Valley, and the upper Sabine country. Leaving the Forum 


. This map shows the Wall of Aurelian, A.D. 272-276, but the streets of the city were 
more or less constant through the centuries. The Circus Maximus is seen along the 
Via Appia, the Circus of Caligula across the Tiber. The Colosseum is also indicated. 
and the polling-place on the Via Lata. 

as the Argiletum, the Clivus Suburanus bent to the east ana 
went out at the Esquiline Gate as the Via Tiburtina, bound 
for Tibur and the mountain country eighteen miles away. 
Due east, the Via Praenestina, continuing the Via Labicana 
inside the limits, made for Gabii and Praeneste, modern 


Palestrina, on the mountain side, while the Labicana 
branched to the south in its own name. To the south- 
east, through the Servian Porta Capena and out along the 
level crest of a prehistoric lava stream, with sightly pros- 
'pects, ran the most famous of Roman roads, the Appia, 
Regina Viarum, Queen of Ways, over the slopes of the Alban 
Mount and on to Tarracina, Capua, Beneventum, and 
Bmndisium. The Via Latina, branching from it to the left, 
ran to the high divide in the Alban Hills past Tusculum, 
descending to the gap between Volscians and Apennines on 
the way to Campania. The Via Ostiensis on the left bank 
of the Tiber and the Via Portuensis on the right connected 
the city with the Tiber mouth. The Via Aurelia began at 
the Aemilian Bridge near the Forum Boarium, mounted 
the Janiculum, and led west and north into Etruria and on to 
Pisa and other coast cities. The Via Cornelia, farther north, 
ran west from the Tiber across the space later occupied by 
the piazza and church of Saint Peter. 

Besides these longer streets that radiated from the city's 
center and were continued to form the network of highways 
that carried the goods and men of the Empire to distant parts 
of Italy and the world, there were the shorter streets that 
terminated at the city's bound ; there were the streets that 
crossed from one thoroughfare to another or branched at 
lesser angles ; there were the smaller streets that ran their 
narrow and irregular courses like canals through the masses 
of tall tenements in the denser parts of the city; and there 
were the alleys and little back streets belonging to every 
large town. There were broadenings of streets in places ; 
there were the amplifications where porticoes bordered the 
way, with the shops that were sheltered by them; there 
were the market areas ; there were the more splendid spaces 
for public business ; and there were the gardens or parks. 


It will be helpful here to set down the various names oi 
the Roman thoroughfares and spaces. The via was usually 
the great road continued in the city ; it may be called the 
avenue. The vicus was the ordinary street, large or small. 
The clivus was the vicus as it made one of the many ascents 
in the rolling city. Plateia was the borrowed Greek word 
denoting a broad passage or square the later piazza, plaza, 
place, Platz, place. The porticus was the marble colonnade 
or arcade as it bordered an ample street and protected the 
walker from sun and rain, or it was the colonnade of four 
sides inclosing a market place, a theater and its space, or a 
temple and its area. The/orum was a larger space devoted 
to trade or to the public business, and in the latter case 
contained or was bordered by state buildings and orna- 
mental architecture. The main public square of any city 
in the West was likely to be called the forum, and the little 
towns that were nothing but markets were often called fora, 
as Forum Appi on the Appian Way. 

The city, ten miles in circumference and three or more in 
diameter, that was crisscrossed and slashed and broken by 
these avenues and streets and alleys and porticoes and public 
squares was notable for variety. 

It was varied, first, in density of population and buildings. 
The more thickly inhabited quarters were the Aventine and 
Caelian and southern Esquiline, with their slopes and inter- 
vening valleys, the district about the Capitoline reaching 
to the Tiber and south to the Aventine, and the depressions 
and slopes between the Quirinal and Viminal and Esquiline. 
The Palatine had always been a residence quarter, and with 
Augustus became the imperial quarter. The Capitoline 
tfas the seat of the two great temples of Juno and Jupiter, 
with a public square between them like the Piazza Campi- 
doglio of to-day. The Forum was monumental and ornate 


with senate, basilicas, temples, and honorary columns and 
statues. The Campus Martius was a place of magnificent 
distances and of buildings in the grand style. The high 
parts of the Quirinal and Viminal and Esquiline were oc- 
cupied by the wealthy, and houses and palaces were inter- 
spersed with villas and gardens, public and private. The 
Janiculum towered above a popular but not yet crowded re- 
gion called Transtiberim, the Trastevere of to-day. 

The city was varied, next, in elevation. The spacious 
area of the Campus Martius, alluvial in origin, was as flat 
as a floor. The Forum, and the Velabrum leading south 
from it, lay at times deep in the shade of the buildings that 
towered above them on the steep and lofty Capitoline and 
Palatine. The central hills were 150 feet above the sea, the 
broader Caelian and Aventine about the same, and the long 
reaches of Esquiline and Viminal and Quirinal were about 
200. The Janiculum, 292 feet, was the highest ground in 
Rome. The city rose and fell with a grand rolling of hill 
and valley that was only here and there abrupt. 

That Rome was varied in its thoroughfares, we have 
already seen. It was varied also in its buildings. There 
were the temples of the Capitol rising against the sky, and 
two or three hundred others, large and small, scattered 
throughout the city, most of them in the Greek columnar 
style. There were the palaces of emperors and aristocrats 
on the Palatine, with unnumbered others on the hills to 
north and east. There were the Julian and Aemilian basili- 
cas in the Forum, with the Rostra and the senate, and the 
arches of Augustus and Tiberius. There were the theaters 
of Pompey, Marcellus, and Balbus about the Capitoline. 
There was the Circus Maximus between the Palatine and 
the Aventine, and the Circus Flaminius near Pompey'e 
Theater. There were the Forum of Julius Caesar and the 


"They have embellished the city with numerous and splendid 
objects. Pompey, Divus Caesar, and Augustus, with his children, 
friends, wife, and sister, have surpassed all others in their zeal and 
munificence in these decorations. The greater number of these 
may be seen in the Campus Martius, which to the beauties of 
nature adds those of art. The size of the plain is marvellous, 
permitting chariot races and other feats of horsemanship without 
impediment, and multitudes to exercise themselves at ball, in 
the circus, and the palaestra. The structures which surround it, 
the turf covered with herbage all the year round, the summits of 
the hills beyond the Tiber, extending from its banks with pano- 
ramic effect, present a spectacle which the eye abandons with re- 
gret. Near to this plain is another surrounded with columns, 
sacred groves, three theaters, an amphitheater, and superb temples 
in close contiguity to each other ; and so magnificent, that it would 
seem idle to describe the rest of the city after it. For this cause 
the Romans, esteeming it as the most sacred place, have there 
erected funeral monuments to the most illustrious persons of either 
sex. The most remarkable of these is that designated as the 
Mausoleum, which consists of a mound of earth raised upon a high 
foundation of white marble, situated near the river, and covered 
to the top with evergreen shrubs. Upon the summit is a bronze 
statue of Augustus Caesar, and beneath the mound are the ashes 
of himself, his relatives, and friends. Behind is a large grove con- 
taining charming promenades. In the center of the plain, is the 
spot where this prince was reduced to ashes ; it is surrounded with 
a double enclosure, one of marble, the other of iron, and planted 
within with poplars. If from hence you proceed to visit the 
ancient Forum, which is equally filled with basilicas, porticoes, 
and temples, you will there behold the Capitol, the Palatine, with 
the noble works which adorn them, and the piazza of Livia, each 
successive place causing you speedily to forget what you have 
before seen. Such is Rome." 


Now that we have seen the city in which the Roman 
moved, it is time to look more attentively at the Roman 
himself. This will make necessary the study, first, oi 
Roman dress. 

The normal costume of the Romans consisted of toga, 
tunic, and shoes for men, and of stole, tunic, and shoes for 
women. Besides these, there were the occasional wraps or 
mantles for men called lacerna, paenula, and synthesis, and 
for women the palla. For the head there were various hoods 
and caps and hats and capes, but none of them in general 
use. Of course there was ornament, and there were styles 
of wearing hair and beard. It will be our business now to 
comment briefly first on these better-known features in the 
d^ess of men and women, and then on the variations due to 
material, station, calling, and place. 

The tunic, tunica. This was worn by all classes and both 
sexes. It was the simplest of garments, having short sleeves 
and reaching to the knee or below. Sometimes it was worn 
with a girdle. The tunic of the women was very much like 
that of the men, but sometimes had longer sleeves. For both 
sexes it was the usual dress inside the house, and it was the 
usual dress of workers everywhere. Under it was worn a 
garment like short drawers or trunks, and women sometimes 
wore also a broad band of leather somewhat like the corset. 

The toga. The toga was the characteristic garment of 
the Roman male citizen, and for a thousand years the sign 



of his civic standing. It could not be worn by a foreigner. 
It was the formal dress of the citizen on the street, at the 
public function, and when he was borne to his last rest.. It 
was made of an elongated piece of goods, perhaps ten or 
twelve by fifteen feet, normally 
of wool in the natural white, and 
of a cut and arrangement still 
disputed in spite of the hun- 
dreds of examples on surviving 
statues. The toga of consuls 
and high magistrates in general 
had a purple border. Citizens 
running for office wore the plain 
toga brilliantly whitened, toga 
Candida, and were called candi- 
datij candidates. Emperors, 
and generals on the occasion of 
their triumphs, wore the toga 
picta, all purple and with gold 

To put the toga on, the Ro- 
man draped it over the left 
shoulder, allowing it to touch 
the ground in front at his feet, 
then drew its ample length 
around his back and under the 
right shoulder, and threw it 
across the breast and over the 

left shoulder so that the end hung down his back. By 
reaching under the fold across his breast, the wearer could 
partially draw up the portion hanging in front and drape 
it over the fold in such a way as to make it fairly secure, 
In its simplest form and use, the toga was probably much 


The toga is drawn up and hangs in a . 
short, fold at the center. 



like a long, rectangular blanket. That it could have been 
very different in size and cut and manner of wearing, how- 
ever, is indicated by the statues. Anything in dress so 
universal and so long in use was surely manageable, but 
in the extremes of fashion it must have been a difficult and 
expensive garment to wear and to keep in order. 

The stola. This 
was the woman's 
formal garment cor- 
responding to the 
toga. Another 
name, tunica exterior, 
suggests its nature. 
It was like the ordi- 
nary tunic, but am- 
pler and more elabo- 
rate. From the gir 
die, or zona, at the 
waist to the top it 
was open at the sides, 
and the front and 
back pieces thus 

formed were fastened at the shoulders with buttons or clasps. 
When it was drawn up somewhat at the waist and overhung 
the zona in *olds, its bottom just touched the ground. It 
had borders at bottom and top, and sleeves unless the or 
dinary tunic already had them. 

The palla. The palla was the woman's mantle for out of 
doors, resembling in general the toga and worn in many 
different styles. 

The lacema. This was a short and light, sleeveless 
mantle or cape, sometimes with a hood, which was worn at 
first to protect the toga from rain or dust, and later some- 


She is dxaped in the stola, or tunica exterior, and 
palla, and seated in a cushioned chair. 



times took the place of the toga. It was open at the sides 
and fastened at the shoulders. The synthesis was a fashion- 
able dinner garment of fine material worn over the tunic, 
and was an indoor garment exclusively except on the Satur- 
nalia holidays. The laena and abolla were cloaks of which 
little is known, and the endromis was a dressing gown used 
after gymnastics. 


Found in the Homan border fort at Newstead, near the River Tweed not far from 
Melrose in Scotland. The two at right and bottom are of especially fine make. 

On the streets of Rome on ordinary days, the uncovered 
head was the rule. In stormy weather, the outer wrap, or 
even the toga, could be drawn up for protection. There 
were head coverings of various sorts. The pilleus, a closely 
fitting, pointed felt cap for workers in the sun or rain, and 
the petasiis, a Greek type of broad-brimmed hat for travelers, 
are the best known ; but the usual crowd in Rome and other 
cities of southern latitude would have been hatless. 

For the feet, there were sandals and shoes. The sandal, 
solea, was much like the light leather footwear sometimes 
worn by children to-day, was varied in the manner of its 


fastenings, and usually worn only in the house. The shoe, 
calceus, was more substantial than the sandal, but was less 
convenient than the modern shoe. The tying of the sena- 
tor's shoe was managed by means of broad pieces of leather 
attached to the soles and crossed and wound over the ankle 
and about the leg. For patricians there was a special shoe 
having a silver or ivory ornament called the crescent, lunula, 
on the outside of the ankle. The shoe of the ordinary man 
was more li&e modern footwear. There was rougher gear 
for laborers and soldiers, and there were wooden shoes. 
The soldier's boot was the caliga; the diminutive, caligula, 
was the nickname given to the prince, Little Boots, who 
became the Emperor Caligula. Women's sandals and shoes 
were different from men's only in their finer material and 
more frequent use of color. 

For jewelry, the Roman man wore a ring of iron or other 
metal, bearing a seal for use on letters and documents, and 
for the safeguarding of his cabinets or other places of keeping 
valuables. The gold ring was long the special mark of the 
equestrian class, but afterward became, like other rings, the 
sign merely of the free condition. Women used more jewelry 
than men. The museum cases display ornament in every 
material and form. 

The dress of children, male and female, free and slave, 
rich and poor, was almost universally the tunic and short 
drawers and the simplest sandals and shoes. The boys 
and girls of the upper classes wore the toga praetexla, dis- 
tinguished by the purple border the boy until he reached 
manhood, the girl until her marriage. 

Perhaps we should consider here as part of dress the care 
of beard and hair. Like dress, they had their variations in 
style. The shaggy hair and long beards of early times 
gave place to barbered heads and clean-shaven faces, but 



there were returns to the old manner. From the Scipio 
who destroyed Carthage in 146 B.C. to the Emperor Trajan, 
&.D. 98-117, the busts show beardless men with the hair well 
trimmed. Trajan and his circle wore their hair brought 
over the forehead. Hadrian and his successors enjoyed 
full beards and abundant hair. The Roman woman 
wore the long hair that the Apostle Paul declared was "a 

The bust at the left is sometimes called Sulla. 

glory unto her," but in times of luxury she could dye and 
torture it or pile it high with the aid of artificial hair. Both 
little boys and little girls were lovely with hair that fell to 
their shoulders. 

Such was Roman dress in its principal features. We 
should think of it further as having many variations. 

There was the material, for example, varying with time 
and place and occupation and rank silk, an article of 
great luxury from China ; cotton, also from the East ; linen, 
from Italy and Egypt ; wool in great quantities from Italy 
and abroad ; the skins of goats and sheep, worn by many 
in the country. There was the quality, coarse or fine accord- 
ing to the station of the wearer. 


There was variation in color the customary white, with 
the famous Tyrian purple as its most expensive and its most 
striking variation, and the crimson and violet produced in 
Italy from a certain shellfish. Purple, worn chiefly in the 
borders that distinguished the togas of magistrates and of 
boys not yet in the white toga of manhood, and in the broad 
and narrow stripes of the tunics of senators and knights, was 
the chief dye after Augustus, and almost the only artificial 
color before him. There was a great increase in variety and 
brightness of color, especially in women's wear. 

Again, there were many variations depending upon posi- 
tion in the State employ. The wearing of the purple border 
and stripe, just mentioned, is an example. Purple was the 
distinctive color of the State, and became the imperial color, 

There were the variations belonging to class and occupa- 
tion the populace in tunic and the ruling classes in toga ; 
the slave in his cheap stuffs and coarse shoes ; the patrician 
in his expensive and carefully kept toga and elegant foot- 
wear; the countryman in rough homespun; the soldier in 
military tunic and boots; the freedman and sailor in the 
conical cap ; the respectable middle class in regulation tunic, 
toga, and sandals. 

There were the variations due to race the Northern 
captive in breeches ; the African in his robe ; the Egyptian, 
the Syrian, the Dacian, the Spaniard, each with something 
in garment, material, style, or color to betray his outland 

And finally, there were the accessories of costume, such as 
umbrellas and parasols, handkerchiefs,, fans, purses, and 
gloves and mittens. 

Before leaving the subject of costume, there are certain 
general characteristics that should be noted. First, the 
costumes of men and women were much more alike in Roman 


times than in our own. Secondly, the Roman costume went 
with the Roman eagles to the confines of civilization, and the 
toga was the symbol of the Roman spirit. Thirdly, the 
Roman costume, whatever it owed to Etruscan in early days 
and to Greek in the days when art and fashion seized upon 
it, appears with the earliest Roman, and endures unchanged 
through all the Roman centuries. Just as, amid all the 
variations of place and time, there remained a constant pat- 
tern of Roman character and conduct, so through all the 
diversities brought by rank and calling and race and time, 
there endured the Roma toga ; and in the art and ritual of 
modern times its influence still persists. And, finally, the 
Roman costume as worn by the representative magistrate 
or citizen was one of pronounced distinction. The ample 
dimensions of the toga, its magnificent descending lines and 
sweeping curves, its variety, its massiveness and solidity, 
combined to make it a garment in the grand style, the fit 
cloaking of the lords and administrators of the World State 
and its capital city. Nothing more noble has descended 
in the portraiture of men than the dignified and stately 
processions of the Augustans on the Altar of Peace. 

But dress is not the only factor in Roman personal appear- 
ance. We have not yet looked into the actual face of the 
Roman whose garments and carriage we have seen. If we 
do, we shall notice, first, that he may be of any shade of color 
from the ebony of the upper Nile to the rosy fairness of the 
Teuton. If we look only at the native of Italy and Rome, 
we shall note that his complexion is darker than the average 
of our American friends. It will vary from the weathered 
and swarthy bronze of the countryman and toiler in the sun 
to the soft and shadowed pallor of the worker within doors, 
but it will only by exception have the clear skin and blue 
3yes of the blond. In the second place, we shaE notice 


that his features vary over the widest range. He may have 
the angular eagle-nose which the world calls Roman, but he 
is quite as likely to have some other, and we are compelled 
to abandon the conception of a typical Roman. The por- 
trait busts that stand in scores against the museum walls 
are as remarkably individual as any portrait gallery of New 
England characters. In all but complexion, an assembly 
of elderly Roman faces in Cato's time would not have been 
greatly unlike the faces of our Puritan fathers. 

On close acquaintance with the Roman authors, we realize 
that the personal resemblance noticed in statuary extends 
to character as well. The reader of our early American 
history will feel at home in the Roman stories of hardships 
willingly endured, of disaster bravely met, of devotion to 
ancestral faith, of temptation overcome and integrity pre- 


The capital city of modern times is the convenient meet- 
ing place and seat of government, the creation and not the 
creator of the state, the servant and not the mistress of the 
state. The ancient state was a city-state, and the capital 
was identical with the state in a way not true of capitals 
to-day. All voters were enrolled in the voting groups at 
Rome, for example, and all who cast the vote were obliged 
to do so in the capital. In other words, representative 
government was not developed as in modern times. 

Rome was not only the capital of the Roman State, but its 
beginnings were the beginnings of the State and the growth 
of the State was only the expansion of the city. However 
great the territory annexed, however great the increase in 
the number of citizens, the government continued to be the 
constitution of the city of Rome. The four voting tribes of 
the city of Servius had reached the maximum of thirty-frve in 
241 B.C., but all belonged to Rome and the immediate neigh- 
borhood. New voters thereafter were not made into new 
groups, but were distributed among the already existing 
tribes. Rome was an organic part of the Roman State as the 
heart is an organic part of the human body. The blood of 
the State was the blood of the city in circulation ; the life 
of the State was the life of the city. The Rome of Augustus 
was to the Empire what the Emperor was to the citizenry* 
It was the Empire in action, as he was the Roman people in 



Because Rome was the capital of the Mediterranean 
world, the society in which the Roman moved was varied 
far beyond the ordinary. Because she was also the heart 
that so long had given it life and determined its character, 


The Aia Pacts Augustas was dedicated in 9 B.C. in honor of Augustus and Peace 
near the Mausoleum of the Emperor. Fragments of its sculpture are preserved in 
Rome, Florence, and Paris. 

we must expect to find in Roman society a nucleus that was 
solid and constant. Let us consider what the social struc- 
ture was into which Caesar, Cicero, and Virgil were born. 

In the first place, as they were free men, each was born 
into one of the curiae, the thirty associations into which the 
free population of the State was divided. These associa- 
tions, once of importance in religion, politics, and army 
affairs, were now only survivals, and need not be considered 

In the next place, each was born into or assigned to one 
of the thirty-five tribes, tribus, of which four belonged to the 


sity and went back to earliest times, and the remainder 
to the country. The importance of these also was soon to 
be in the past, but their important function still was to meet 
in their divisions, the centuriae, or centuries, for the elec- 
tion of magistrates and for other business involving the cast- 
ing of votes. 

In the third place, each of the three was born into a gens y 
or family. The gens included all who bore a common family 
name and traced their descent from a common ancestor. 
There were different ranks of the gens, however. There 
was the patrician gens, whose dignities and privileges, as 
we shall see, set its members apart as the proudest of the 
aristocracy ; and there was the ordinary gens, which might 
include the smallest and humblest groups of citizens. The 
Virgilian gens and the Tullian gens, that is, the family groups 
of Virgil and Cicero, were not of patrician rank ; Caesar's 
gens, the Julian, was patrician, and traced its origin back to 
lulus, or Ascanius, the son of Aeneas, the son of Anchises 
and the goddess Venus. 

Here should be mentioned the practice of adoption. The 
head of a family who feared the dying out of his line, or who 
for any other reason wished to include in his family the child 
of another, could adopt by due process of law, giving the 
adopted his own name, but adding to it in adjective form the 
name of the family from which the adopted came. Publius 
Cornelius Scipio Aemilianus, the younger Scipio who de- 
stroyed Carthage in 146 B.C., was by birth an AemUius, the 
son of Lucius Aemilius Paulus Macedonicus, victor over the 
Macedonians at Pydna in 168 B.C., and was adopted by 
Publius Cornelius Scipio, the son of the Scipio Af ricanus who 
conquered Hannibal at Zama in 202 B.C. The importance 
of adoption as a means of the preservation of old families 
js easily seen. It might serve also as a means of giving home 


and education to the son or daughter of a citizen in straitened 

But these groupings of curia, tribe, and gens have more 
to do with political classification than with the constitution 
of society, though membership in the gens might carry with 

it social standing. It will be bet- 
ter to adopt some other plan of 

There are certain classifications 
which occur at once. There was 
the free man and the non-free; 
it is a slave society with which 
we have to deal. There were the 
few extremely rich and the many 
extremely poor ; Rome was a city 
in which one fourth the population 
received the dole while the wealthy 
engaged in the wildest extrava- 
gance. There were the aristocrats 
and the plebeians, with a middle 
class less numerous than is usual 
in modern times. There were the 
two political groups, the popular 

and the conservative, roughly identical with the plebeian 
poor and the aristocratic rich. There were the native Ro- 
mans and Italians, and the foreign born. There were the 
citizens and the noncitizens. There were the constant and 
permanent parts of the population and the floating and 

Let us analyze, however, in the more thorough and usual 
fashion. According to this, we distinguish in Roman 
society the patricians, the knights or equestrians, the 
plebeians, the clients, the freedmen, the slaves, and the 



foreigners or strangers. A paragraph or two for each will 
serve to set them before us. 

First, patritii, the patricians. The name was probably 
derived from the patres, fathers, who were the heads of the 
clans appointed by the king of the early State to form his 
body of counselors, the Senate. All who could prove 
descent from these "fathers" composed the patrician class, 
which was thus hereditary. At first in exclusive possession 
of all the offices in the State, they were in the course of time 
compelled to admit the plebeians to a sharing of them. For 
the most important period of the Republic, a comparatively 
small number of patrician families furnished the greater part 
of the consuls. By Caesar's time, however, patrician exclu- 
siveness had arrived at the usual and natural result; the 
number of families had dwindled to about fifteen, and 
Caesar's policy of creating new ones by decree was adopted. 
Besides heredity, decree was the only means of entering the 
patrician class. 

However, though the patricians were always the flower 
of aristocracy, their original importance as active heads of 
the State was early lost, and a wider aristocracy, called the 
nobilitas, succeeded them one to which men of capacity, 
with less regard to birth, could aspire. From about 312 B.C., 
when the holding of any office in the State had at last become 
the right of all free men above the freedman class, entrance 
to the new aristocracy, or nobility, depended upon election 
to the curule aedileship. This brought with it the right to 
display in the state chamber of the house the wax masks 
of dead ancestors, the vus imaginum, a right practically 
necessary to success in standing for the higher offices of the 
praetorship, the consulship, and the censorship. Since elec- 
tion to one of the higher offices carried with it the right to 
a seat in the Senate, the possession of the "right of images" 


was really the sign of entrance into the nobilitas,the notables, 
the wider aristocracy above mentioned. It was composed 
almost exclusively of senators and was called the ordo sena- 
torius, the senatorial order. 

The senatorial order thus really took the place in political 
life which had been occupied by the patrician class. The 
patricians, fewer now and only a part of the Senate instead 
of the whole, retained their social distinction but not their 
exclusive power. The senatorial order, composed of the 
plebeian by birth as well as the patrician, had not the social 
quality of the earlier Senate, but for three centuries was all- 
powerful in the State. With the coming of Augustus and the 
reforms by which election to the senatorial office became 
dependent on the ruler's favor, the Roman Senate began its 
career as servant of the emperors. 

Second, the equites, the equestrian class, or knights. 
The equites were in origin actual horsemen in the army. 
By the time of the Gracchi, 133-121 B.C., the equites had 
grown into a distinct class which was at the same time finan- 
cial, political, and social. It was financial, because entrance 
into it depended on the possession of 400,000 sesterces, or 
about $20,000, and because its greatest activities were in 
financial enterprise. It was political, because it was an 
independent body of voters whose favor was much courted 
by politicians', and because it used its power to influence 
government in favor of moneyed interests. It was social, 
because its money raised it out of the plebeian class and made 
it the natural, ally of the nobles, who usually with its .aid 
controlled the Senate. The equites wore a gold ring and $, 
tunic with narrow border, and at the shows had the right to, 
seats in the f ourteen rows next to the senatorial zone, which 
was nearest thje arena or stage ,'or racecourse, , . 

' Third, the plebs, the plebeian'- class. Thi$ was composed 


of all the free citizens who were not nobles and who did uot 
possess the twenty thousand dollars conferring equestrian 
rank. Originally, the plebeians were the dependents of 
che patricians, and had no rights of their own. The process 
of their winning the various privileges of marriage, property, 
and office is a large part in Roman history. ^: 

Fourth, the clientes, clients or retainers. Clientes is a 
term of two meanings. For earliest Rome, it meant merely 
those who were free but not members of the patrician class 
and consequently not citizens. They were attached in a 
more or less formal and thoroughly honorable manner to the 
patricians, who were called their patrons, patroni, protec- 
tors ; and received certain benefits for which they made a 
return by being in general at the service of their patrons. 
The clients of the time of Augustus and later were of a 
different kind. They are known to us from the Roman 
satirists as the crowds of mean-spirited men who every 
morning thronged about the doors of the arrogant and ambi- 
tious rich to receive the dole of food or money, in return for 
which they escorted and applauded and in other conspicu- 
ous or noisy ways supported their benefactors. 

Fifth, the freedmen called liberti with reference to former 
owners and libertini as a social class. Many continued as 
clients their relations with former masters, and thus came 
gradually to perfect independence. A freedman became a 
citizen in the act of liberation from slavery; but did not at 
once acquire full rights. With his sons, he was barred from 
the equestrian order and from office, and was subject to dis- 
criraination in other respects. ^1, ,-; 

Sixth, the servi, slaves. The slaves were a great mass 
at the lowest step of the social ascent. Besides the 
increase due to the union of 'slaves within their class 
irregular relations with the free, the chief 


supply were the capture of tribes or towns in the great wara 
of the Republic, or the insurrections and border troubles of 
the Empire, and the traffic of the slave hunter. Pompey 
and Caesar are said to have disposed of more than a million 
slaves from Asia and Gaul. The slaves of early Rome were 
captives from the Italian races, and principally employed 
on the land. In Augustus' time the homes of the rich were 
filled with slaves from many parts of the world, and all the 
coarse work of the Roman world, together with much of the 
professional and expert, was performed by them. 
The slave could emerge from his condition by manumis- 
siou due to a master's gratitude for special service, or to 
purchase by the slave himself from his own savings. He 
then became a libertus, and his master ceased to be dominus, 
master, usually becoming pabronus and remaining so until the 
freedman had acquired fuller civic rights. Marcus Cicero's 
private secretary, Tiro, whose system of shorthand was 
called Notae Tironianae, the Tironian Notes, was a freedman, 
and Quintus Cicero also liberated an especially capable slave 
named Statius. Tiro was known after his liberation as 
Marcus Tullius Tiro. 

The keeping of slaves was not unattended by danger, 
both to owners and to the State. Immorality, scheming, 
thieving, running away, and murder of the master were 
among the slave's offenses ; hard labor at the mill or in the 
mines, banishment to the lonely work of the farm, reduction 
of rations, flogging, and death in cruel ways, were among his 
punishments. There were sometimes slave revolts. In 
the disorders from this cause in 134-132 B.C., and again in 
104-101 B.C., there were hundreds and even thousands of 
executions in Italy, and in Sicily it required whole armies to 
quell the desperate uprisings against the lords of the plantar 
tions ; cities were occupied and besieged, and great loss of 



life occurred on both sides. The insurrection of the gladia- 
tors under Spartacus, in 73-71 B.C., involved upwards of 
forty thousand slaves in South Italy, and their defeat was 
followed by the crucifixion, at intervals along the road from 
Capua to Rome, of six thousand recaptured slaves. 

If we mention, seventhly and finally, the hospites, the 
guests or strangers who might be present from outside the 
citizenship and bounds of the Roman State, and who in case 


At the left is Marcus Holoonius Rufus, duumvir of Pompeii and rebuilder of the 

Great Theater. 

of permanent or long-continued residence were likely to 
become clients of the more dignified sort, or even citi- 
zens, we shall have accounted for all parts composing 
the structure of the Roman population. About it as 
a whole it will not be unprofitable to make a few observa- 

First, Roman society was composed of classes whose 
limits, compared with American society, were definite and 
fixed. It mattered a great deal whether one was on one side 
of the line or the other, both as to one's rights and as to the 

74 THE 

esteem in which one was held. For centuries before Julius 
Caesar, the patrician families formed a close corporation 
into which admission except by birth was impossible, and 
when Caesar created others, it was by a decree amounting 
to social revolution. Cicero by his election to the quaestor- 
ship acquired the right to sit in the Senate and thus passed 
from the equestrian to the senatorial order, and soon became 
consul ; but the former consuls and the patrician senators 
did not welcome Him to their society without reserve, and he 
was known as a novus homo, a new man. On the other hand, 
there were offices to which patricians could not be elevated. 
Before Clodius, the enemy of Cicero, could be tribune of the 
people and thus bring about the orator's banishment, he had 
to be formally transferred from the patrician to the plebeian 
status. The prosperous plebeian could become an egues 
only after his fortune reached the requisite four hundred 
thousand sesterces. The f reedman at his manumission from 
slavery was not yet, either before the law or in the eyes of his 
neighbors, an equal of the freeborn. Horace makes a point 
of being an ingenuus, that is, of having been born after rather 
than before bis father's manumission. 

Yet it should be said that Eoman society was after all 
not wholly inelastic. Men did frequently pass from class to 
class, and usually because of special capacities. Cicero 
himself is one of Rome's best examples of native ability 
winning recognition. Of equestrian and obscure provincial 
origin, he held every office in the round of the Roman public 
service. Horace was the son of a man who had come into 
the world a slave, and his recognition by the Augustan circle 
as poet and friend was a testimony to the possibilities of 
social elevation on the basis of talent and personal excellence. 
Even the slave, who, together with the work he performed, 
was held in contempt, could rise if possessed, of talent or 


industry, as was proved by the numbers of freedmen who 
thronged the streets and business places of the city. 

Again, Roman society was not stationary, but in con- 
tinual process of change. The population of the city was 
increased by the coming of foreigners, slave and free, to fill 
the lower ranks. Foreigners of the best class were naturalized 
by action of the people in assembly ; slaves became freed- 
men; freedmen became citizens of full rights; plebeians 
rose to the equestrian and senatorial orders ; and the higher 
orders were depleted by failure, death, and the decay of 
families. The Romans by Augustan times had been modified 
in many respects, but chiefly in blood. 

In spite of every change, however, the ancient ideals of 
blood and character persisted, and had their effect in notable 
men and times. Almost in the midst of revolution, Augus- 
tus took active measures to foster the old-style faith and 
morals. He had the women of his household spin the wool 
in the manner of the olden times. His diet was spare and 
simple, and he slept in the same room for forty years. Stern 
toward the members of his family, he was to some extent 
austere with himself. Antoninus Pius and Marcus Aure- 
lius, a hundred and fifty years later, exemplified with greater 
success the Roman type. Maxentius, after another century 
and a half, names a son Romulus, erects a monument to the 
Founders of the City, and in his losing struggle with Con- 
stantine has his main support in the aristocratic or old Roman 
party. The last of all the emperors, Romulus Augustulus, 
bears a name that harks back to founders' days. The 
two most bitter of Roman prejudices, the feeling against 
the foreigner as represented by Juvenal, and against the 
Christians as manifested by the persecutions, were enter- 
tained most deeply by those who cherished most the ancient 
ideals of character and conduct. 


The ancient house, like the modern, varied according to 
country, climate, city, period, and the taste and condition 
of the individual. We shall concern ourselves with the house 
of the Roman in Italy in the first Christian century. 

The house of this time with which we are most familiar 
is the Pompeian house. The ashes and light stones from 
Vesuvius which rained down upon the city in the famous 
eruption of A.D. 79 and buried it twenty feet deep have 
preserved for us the richest of all our sources of knowledge 
of the ancient house and its life. At Pompeii, then, we shall 
best begin a study of the house. 

The houses of Pompeii were entered directly from the 
sidewalk. The door, ostium } in the case of the simplest 
houses, opened immediately into the main hall of i;he house, 
the atrium. In case the front of the house was occupied 
by shops, the door led to the atrium by means of a narrow 
entry passage, at one side of which there sometimes was a 
room occupied by the janitor. 

The atrium was a rectangular chamber in the middle of 
whose floor was a shallow square basin called the impluvium, 
into which, from an opening of like dimensions above it 
called the con^pluvium, the water from rains fell after running 
down the tile roofing that sloped inward on the four sides. 
The roof was supported at the lower corners of the com- 
pluvium either by four beams crossing one another, in which 
case it was called a Tuscan atrium, or by pillar* rising from 




the corners of the impluvium, when it was called a tetrastyle 
atrium. The use of more than four columns made it a 
Corinthian atrium. When the roof sloped outward instead 
of inward, the atrium was called displuviatum. In rare 
cases the atrium was entirely covered. 




Rooms A,a J . 

shop !_. j_ j. j . 

I \J/ ' ' 




i i j 2 Tablinum 

>-- A 

1 Impluvium 

2 Sloping roof 
above atrium 

jST T FLEr Er T 

This house has two dining rooms, and its peristyle is irregular in having rooms 
only on one side. The shops had windows and doors on the street which were 
closed at night by means of strong shutters. 

The atrium was thus a spacious hall partly open to the 
sky, varied by sunshine and shadow in clear weather, and on 
wet days and nights by the patter of the rain in the implu- 
vium as it fell straight through the open space or came 
streaming down the tile. About it were the various living 
and sleeping chambers, and facing one another across the 
end that was farther from the street were the aloe, or wings, 
in one or both of which the man of family who possessed the 
"right of images" kept the waxen masks, the inscriptions, 
and the diagram of the family descent. 

At the farther side of the atrium, between the alae and 
facing the ostium, was the tablinum, an ample room raised 


slightly above the floor of the atrium, from which it was only 
informally separated by a balustrade or hangings. Here 
the master of the house kept the strong box or area, in which 
were his money and accounts of various sorts. Here he 
could receive his business associates, his clients, or his 
friends; or, by drawing the curtains, could shut out the 
world while he read and wrote, or passed the heated hours of 
the day. 

Back of the tablinum, and separated from it again by hang- 
ings or by a wall with folding doors, was the peristyle, peri- 
stylium. At the simplest, this was a small space planted 
with flowers and shrubbery; at its richest, an elaborately 
landscape-gardened area fronted on all four sides by a 
colonnade supporting an inward-sloping roof of tile. From 
the colonnade, doors opened into the rooms of slaves 01 
members of the family, and into the dining room and the 
kitchen. Above it were the rooms of the second story, 
occupied in a similar way. 

The house thus described was the abode of a citizen of 
moderate means and good standing in Pompeian society. 
If we go in the direction of the poorer and less conspicuous, 
we shall find a one-story dwelling in the humbler quarters 
of the town consisting of the atrium, a sleeping room or two, 
and kitchen, with little else. If we go still farther, we shall 
find ourselves in the simple one-room house of the poorest. 
In the direction of greater wealth will be more pompous 
establishments in the style of Pansa's house, with shops 
fronting the street on three sides to insulate the life of the 
household from its noises, with many chambers about both 
atrium and peristyle for a household numerous in family 
and slaves, with a second story containing many chambers 
perhaps for rent, and with veranda and garden back of 
an elaborate peristyle. Such a bouse would be some 200 



by 100 feet, with rich and colorful finishings and furni- 

To give reality to,the house, we must think of the material 
that composed and made it habitable. Let us consider now 
the nature of its floors and walls, the furniture that garnished 
its rooms, the movable ornament that gave it variety, and 
the means by which 
it was lighted, 
heated, and supplied 
with water. 

The walls of the 
house were usually 
of the mixture of 
mortar and broken 
stone or tile called 
concrete, surfaced 
with brick or a stone 
equivalent. Where 
they fronted the 
street or inclosed a 
room, they were 
finished with stucco 
and tinted. The 
tinting of the f agade 
was frequently made more brilliant by actual paintings, or 
on occasion was varied by the exhortations of the candidate 
for office; for example, M. Marium aedilem facite, virum 
bonum, oro vos "Elect Marcus Marius aedile, he's a good 
man, I beg you." The fagade might also be of plain gray 
stone without ornament. 

The door, single or double, sometimes with a knocker, 
swung on a post or posts. The floors of entrance and 
atrium and various other rooms were of cement finished with 


The oat is killing a quail. Below are ducks, lotus 
buds, fishes, and shells. 


mosaic. The mosaic varied from the mere relief of the 
cement pavement by the simplest and scantiest patterns 
in bits of enameled tile or cut stone to the brilliant pic- 
tures, elegantly bordered, which enriched the houses of the 
wealthy. The celebrated mosaic of Darius and Alexander in 
the Battle of Issus, found in the House of the Faun and now 
in the Museum at Naples, is 8 by 16 feet and contains some 
1,700,000 pieces. 

The walls inside the house were finished with the best 
quality of stucco and tinted in the deepest tones, the reds 
and yellows predominating. Pompeian red is a recognized 
color. Never without some manner of line or tracery to re- 
lieve it, the wall was frequently beautified by the use of 
bands or friezes, which might be enlivened with figures or 
scenes, like the famous Cupids at work and play in the House 
of the Vettii, or by the paintings, large and small, which 
are preserved in such numbers in the Naples museum or on 
thf walls as they were found. The paintings of Pompeii 
now known are nearly four thousand. The use of delicate 
colored relief in stucco was also not infrequent. 

The pillars of atrium and peristyle, their architraves, and 
the beams that crossed each other and formed the coffered 
or paneled ceilings and roofs of atrium, room, and peristyle, 
should be imagined in deepest colors and white and gold. 
Such splendor was found, of course, only in the houses of 
the wealthier. 

Tt must not be forgotten that for its attractiveness the 
house depended much on movables. Among articles of 
furniture, there was the chair in many forms, of wood or 
marble or iron or bronze, with perhaps a deep-red cushion. 
There was the bench of metal or wood or marble against the 
wall of the atrium, or in the garden area. There was the 
table, varied in form and value, in atrium, tablinum, and 


dining room and kitchen. One famous table of citrus wood 
in Cicero's house cost its owner the equivalent of twenty 
thousand dollars, its material being the rare African citrus, 
whose knots and roots were cut and fitted together with great 
skill so as to display the wonderful markings for which the 
wood was noted. The cross section of a tree might also be 
used. There were the lounges, with arms and back and 
pillows and cushions. There were the beds, with mattresses 
of straw or wool or feathers, supported by ornamental legs 
and frames or resting on masonry, sometimes in small re- 
cesses, sometimes in the second story. There was the 
triclinium, the dining table of the rich, sometimes three 
sloping banks of masonry on which the diners reclined while 
being served from the central table inclosed by them, some- 
times three movable couches of wood or fancy metal. There 
were cabinets for books, and wardrobes for the hanging of 

These articles, largely objects of daily use, varied in value 
and beauty according to the taste and means of the master 
and mistress of the house. We may imagine other objects 
less permanent and less utilitarian. There were the hang- 
ings that no doubt graced the walls at times as well as the 
openings of chamber and passageway. There were the 
vases of many shapes and sizes, of clay or bronze, that fur- 
nished pleasing relief to floor or wall. There were the tall 
candelabra of bronze or marble placed at convenient stations 
throughout the main chambers. There were the ornamental 
lamps of bronze suspended from architrave or ceiling in 
atrium and chamber. 

The lighting of the ancient house was done by means of 
lamps with one or more wicks, fed with the oil of the olive 
or animal fat. They were of iron, bronze, and terra cotta, 
and of many beautiful and fantastic forms. Their serene 



flames, singly and in clusters, were golden in the deep dark- 
ness of a house that had no windows in the lower rooms and 
no communication with light except from the stars and 
moon as they shone through the open roof. The slender 
candelabra on which to set or hang the lamp one carried 
were often of the rarest beauty. 

The roof is restored, the ancient plants replaced, and the ornamental sculp- 
ture reerected. 

The house as f, rule was heated only by the rays of the sun. 
The atrium in winter received the light when the sun was 
high ; the peristyle afforded in parts a sunny promenade ; 
there was in some houses a solarium, or sun room, and there 
were houses with winter dining room to alternate with the 
shaded one for summer use. Aside from the small pockets 


of charcoal alight at mealtime in the kitchen, if any house 
was heated by artificial means it was by the brazier with 
its bed of glowing coals. In rare instances, the warmth 
came from a furnace whose heat circulated under a floor 
supported on little pillars of masonry, and through flat pipes 
that rose behind the plaster of the wall. At best, the house 
in the colder and suyless days of winter was not a com- 
fortable place, and action in the out-of-doors must have 
been the citizen's escape from chill in the day, and early 
bed his escape at night. In the summer months, with 
awning above the impluvium, its twilight recesses were a 
charming refuge from the fervid sun of the South. 

For water, the poorer houses depended on the woman 
with water pot on head who went to the nearest corner sup- 
plied with the always running jets belonging to the city 
system. In the richer houses, lead pipes in quite the modern 
fashion entered and supplied the kitchen, the bath, and the 
various fountains in peristyle or atrium. 

To be complete, we should mention that the keeping of 
time was managed by the use of sundial and water clock. 
It is clear that the former would hardly serve on a sunless 
day; and neither indicated the time with the precision of 
the modern clock. 

Such was the Pompeian type of house. It had many 
things in common with the modern house, but many things 
in great contrast. 

The Pompeian house looked inward and not out upon the 
street. It had few windows, which were mostly in the upper 
story, but was more freely open to the air and made more 
use of the sun. It employed very little wood, whether in 
wall, roof, floor, or furnishings. Its wall paper was wall 
painting, its Persian rugs were mosaic pictures. , It had no 
large mirrors on its walls, no ticking clocks, no gas or electric 


Showing an atrium in the Tuscan style, with compluvium, impluvium, tablinum 
and furniture, peristyle, and shrine. 


light, no radiators or registers, no furnaces or kitchen ranges, 
no refrigerators, no rocking-chairs, no shelves of books in the 
modern fashion. 

But the Pompeian house had its advantages. Secluded 
from the sight and sound of the busy street, spacious and 
airy, with vista including columns and light and shadow, 
varied with ornamental furnishings, warm with tinted walls 
and paintings and mosaic pavements, softened by the 
colored stuffs of cushions, rugs, and hangings, at its best it 
made a beautiful and stately home. In the better months 
of the year, its ample and varied spaces and airy freshness 
made it the ideal retreat, the dwelling in perfect harmony 
with climate. In the mild Italian winter, sheltered from the 
winds and inviting the sun into atrium and peristyle, it had 
a resourcefulness that went far toward tempering the cold 
and damp, which besides were felt less keenly by a people 
bearing them as a matter of course. 

The Pompeian house, however, must not be taken to rep- 
resent the houses of Rome. Pompeii was a southern Italian 
city sharing the culture of Magna Graecia, it was in even a 
milder clime than Rome, it was a provincial city, and it wa& 
a small city and uncrowded. Rome was a hundred and fifty 
miles farther north and fifteen miles farther inland ; it was 
a city which in its early centuries of little contact with the 
world had grown into ways of its own, and it was a great 
capital in which building space was expensive. 

No doubt there were in Rome some houses of the Pom- 
peian sort. In a city which included and welcomed the ways 
of all the world, and in which so much was to be seen and 
heard that came from Greek lands, it would be strange if the 
Greek house also were not found. The one-story or two- 
story type of house, however, could hardly have existed in 
the heart of a city where space was in great demand, and 



where the Augustan limit of seventy feet proves that 
buildings approximated the height of the modern Roman 
apartment houses and palaces; and it probably did not 
exist in numbers, even in the less crowded parts of the city. 

We shall be much 
nearer the tr nth if we 
think of the houses 
of ancient Rome 
as resembling the 
houses of modern 
Rome; that is, as 
buildings four or five 
stories high con- 
structed about a 
court, with inside 
rooms looking on the 
court and outside 
rooms looking on 
the street, and with 
corridors running 
between the two the 
length of the wings. 
The excavations at 
Ostia are a proof 
that this is the rea- 
sonable view. In 
Ostia's more densely 
built portions, the houses are several stories high and 
composed of apartments grouped about a court which is large 
enough to contain a fountain or well and to furnish light to 
the inner rooms. In some cases the court is more generous 
and becomes a garden. In the less crowded quarters of the 
town there are examples in the Pompeian style. Sincte Ostia 


The picture shows two stories and the character 
of brick construction. A small relief of Diana found 
in the house gave it the name. 



In case of rejection, the child was taken away and exposed. 
This points back to the primitive time when the infant 
might actually be left to die, after the manner of the Spartan 
State. In the time which we are studying, it meant that the 
child was left where it would be found either by a chance 
comer or by sorce cne who had a definite use for it, or ever. 

by some one known 
to have compassion. 
There were people 
who reared found- 
lings as slaves, and 
trained them in var 
rious occupations 
that gave them value 
in the market. 
Sometimes, in after 
life, the slave was 
recognized by a now 
repentant father or 
mother through pos- 
session of some ring or trinket left on the child at exposure. 
To-day, the foundling in Rome or elsewhere is likely to be 
cared for by some form of Christian charity. It is not un- 
likely that there was something similar in ancient Rome; 
the alimentationes of Nerva's time are an example. 

If, as was usual, the child was taken up by the father and 
thus accepted, on the ninth day the family and friends met 
together in a happy gathering, a ceremony of purification 
and sacrifice took place, and little presents were given 
the child. Among these was a string of playthings in various 
odd shapes, called crepundia, rattles, which were also to ward 
off the evil eye, known as fasdnatio. The father's gift was 
the bulla, a locket of gold suspended around the neck by a 


Found in the Villa Livia at Prima Porta, seven 
miles north of Rome, where was found also the fa- 
mous statue of Augustus in the Vatican 


chain and containing some article or writing also directed 
against witchcraft or the evil eye. The bulla was worn 
until the boy became formally a citizen, and until the girl 
was married. 

The ninth day was the dies Imtricus, the day of purifica- 
tion, and was marked also by the giving of the name. The 
Roman name was usually composed of three parts, prae- 
nomen y nomen, cognomen, as in Marcus Tullius Cicero, 
Publius Cornelius Scipio. We have already seen how the 
addition of Aemilianus to the latter name signified adoption 
from the Aemilian gens. 

The nomen was the name of the gens, the greater family 
including all who bore the name Cornelius, for example, and 
who traced their descent from a common ancestor Cornelius. 
The cognomen signified a branch of the family; Publius 
Cornelius Scipio belonged to the Scipio branch of the Corne- 
lian gens. The praenomen was the individual name given 
by the father on the dies lustricus. Cicero was thus a mem- 
ber of the Cicero branch of the Tullian gens who was given 
the name Marcus, as his brother received the name Quintus. 
It was usual for the eldest son to receive the father's prae- 
nomen. Among the best-known praenomina were Gaius, 
Gnaeus, Lucius, Marcus, Publius, Quintus, Titus ; the total 
number was small, being in Cicero's time only eighteen. 
The above seven were abbreviated by the initial except 
Gaius and Gnaeus, written C and Cn. Some of the promi- 
nent nomina were Cornelius, Julius, Sempronius, Valerius, 
Claudius, Aemilius. The cognomina, as in Marcus Tullius 
Cicero, Gaius Julius Caesar, Publius Vergilius Maro, Tibe- 
rius Claudius Nero, appear in great variety, and sometimes 
suggest an origin in racial or personal peculiarity. The 
name Sabinus signified that the first of that line was a Sabine ; 
Benignus was good-tempered. The cognomen Cicero was 


thought to have been given first to some Tullius who either 
made a fortune from the deer, a variety of pea, or bore a 
wart that resembled it. 

An extended and official form of the Roman's name might 
include the name of his father, the tribe in which he was 
enrolled as a voter, and an adjective denoting that he had 
distinguished himself as governor or general in some prov- 
ince or in the taking of some city. Supposing Cicero to 
have had the name Marcus Tullius Marci Filius Palatina, 
Tribu Cicero Asiaticus, we find in it that he was the son of 
Marcus, that he was enrolled in the Palatine tribe or divi- 
sion of citizens, and that he distinguished himself as a serv- 
ant of the State in Asia. We have seen that the elder 
Scipio was called Africanus, and that Aemilius Paulus was 
known as Macedonicus; Scipio the Younger received the 
name Numantinus from his capture of Numantia, in Spain, 
in 133 B.C. 

The first instruction of the child in the family of the old 
Roman type was given by the mother and father. The 
Romans were proud of their own instruction of sons and 
daughters in the ways of useful members of the family and 
the State. The mother was with her children constantly, 
and the son, as soon as years permitted, was much in his 
father's company. In the richer homes of the city, by 
Cicero's time, there were nurses and attendants, usually 
slaves of the household, and the bond uniting parents and 
" children was relaxed ; but on the whole we must think of 
the Romans as more than usually intimate with their children 
and more than usually wise in their use of this close relation 
in the forming of character as well as in practical instruction. 

For the formal instruction not given by parents or rela- 
tives, there were the elementary teachers of reading, writing; 
and numbers. They might be slaves belonging to the house 


and instructing within it the children of their master, some- 
times with the children of other households included for the 
sake of convenience and economy. They might be teachers 
conducting schools which were open to all children on pay- 
ment of a monthly fee. "Com- 
ing on the Ides with the eight 
coppers to settle their account," 
is Horace's reference to the 
schoolboys of Venusia, whom he 
describes also as "carrying tablet 
and pencil cases on the left arm." 

"With her small tablets in her 
hand, and her satchel on her arm," 

is the picture of Virginia in 
Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome 
as she goes home from school 
through the Roman Forum. 

The apparatus of instruction 
in the primary school consisted 
of the wax tablet and the sty- 
lus, corresponding to the old slate 

and pencil or the present paper 

and pencil of America; papyrus A MOTHER AND SON 

and pen for the more Careful Perhaps Agrippina and Nero. 

work ; the roll or book containing 

the poetry or prose in use; and the abacus, a counting 
board of a sort still known and used in parts of the world, 
by which reckonings in the higher numbers could be made. 
The fingers also were used in counting, with other parts of 
the body, but in a system too difficult to be recovered com- 
pletely, though it was still in use in the Middle Ages. 
The teachers in the primary work were the litterator and 


the calculator, the "letter man" and the "pebble man"; 
the pebbles by this time meaning the calculi of the abacus 
or the counters used without it. There was much memory 
work, particularly the learning of the Twelve Tables, Rome's 
earliest written laws, and of precepts of the sort given by 
Benjamin Franklin in Poor Richard's Almanac, called sen- 
tentiae. Sometimes, in the effort to make instruction pleas- 
ant, they used devices not unknown to-day "as coaxing 
teachers give pastries to children so that they will learn their 
elements," writes Horace. Sometimes they were persua- 
sive in other ways; Horace mentions also one OrUlius 
plagosus, a teacher known for his whippings. Quintilian, a 
famous educator of whom Pliny was a pupil about A.D. 75, 
writes earnestly in disapproval of physical punishment, on 
the ground that it destroys a boy's self-respect and is un- 
worthy of a free man and a Roman. 

It is likely that the Roman school was noisy. The chil- 
dren studied aloud, the schoolroom was frequently in open 
air and in the din of the city, and the teacher consequently 
raised his voice. In an epigram of Martial a schoolmaster 
is addressed as "thundering with savage voice and beatings," 
making a noise worse than the metal worker forging a statue, 
and shouting louder than the outcries in the amphitheater at 
a gladiator fight. This is epigram and satire, however, and in 
the ordinary school it was the studying aloud that was heard. 

" What have you against us, you school-teaching villain, 

Detested by girls and by boys, 
That before crested cocks break the silence, 
Your blows raise that horrible noise? 

" When a bronze-worker's putting a lawyer on horseback, 

The blow on the anvil's less loud ; 
Milder yells in the great Colosseum 
The victor receives from his crowd. 


te We next door wish to doze during some of the night hours ; 

Entire lack of sleep makes us ill. 
Let 'em out ; what they pay you for bawling 
We'll pay if you'll only keep still." 

The schoolmaster in this epigram is spoken of as beginning 
Ms vociferous day "before crested cocks break the silence," 
and keeping the neighbors from their night's sleep. Juvenal, 
in the same generation, refers to boys sitting in school at an 
hour when no smith and no wool-carder would be at work, 
and to Horace and Virgil, that is, their school readers, be- 
grimed and discolored by the sooty light of as many lamps as 
there were boys. No doubt the hours of school in the Roman 
cities were very early, but it should be remembered that in the 
rainy Italian winter months the darkness lasts far into the 
morning. In Rome to-day children are often taken to school 
when the streets are not yet in full day. 

In an epigram to another harsh schoolmaster, Martial 
scolds about keeping the boys at work in the heat of summer. 
"The glaring days are hot with the flaming Lion, and glow- 
mg July is baking the parched harvest fields. Put away 
your whips of Scythian leather with their rough lashes, and 
your gloomy rods and your schoolmaster scepters, and let 
them sleep till the Ides of October ; if your boys keep well 
in the summer, they are learning enough." Here again are 
the words of the satirist, but it is likely that as little senti- 
ment was wasted in the matter of summer heat as in that of 
early rising. There were no long summer vacations in Rome, 
but the frequency and length of holiday interruptions during 
the year made up for this. There were probably as many 
as a hundred holidays Saturnalia, Lupercalia, Parilia, 
etc. and it is likely that the Roman boy had as many free 
days as the modern boy, even counting the Saturdays and 


As we have been dealing with contrasts between ancient 
and modern, let us note here the greatest of all contrasts, 
namely, that the ancients had no school system supported 
like ours by the State and carefully organized to take the 
pupil from grade to grade and school to school from infancy 
to manhood, with the first years made compulsory. We 
need not suppose, however, that any father ambitious for 
his son was denied the privilege of securing practical instruc- 
tion, for the earlier years of school were inexpensive, and 
setting up a school was the simplest matter. The great 
difference lay rather in the fact that education was neither 
compulsory nor urged upon all as it is in our own country 
to-day. Education was not the universal ideal, either in 
theory or in practice, that it is in most occidental countries 
in modern times. If anyone had proposed to Cato or Cicero 
or Augustus the compulsory education of every boy and 
girl in every station of life in all paras of the Roman realm 
for the primary years, not to say the years beyond, he might 
have been answered: "Why? It is not every man or 
woman that needs to be educated. Those in business and 
those in charge of public affairs should of course have com- 
mand of the .Knowledge to make them competent and in- 
telligent, and education for them may be left, as it always 
has been left, to the interest and ambition of individual, 
family, and class. The education of all would be a burden 
to the State, a hardship to the poor, an impossibility in the 
sparsely settled mountain districts, and a doubtful benefit 
either to the masses themselves, who would never exercise 
their knowledge, or to the Government. What the State 
wants on the part of the many is strength of arm, skill of 
hand, industry, and obedience, rather than a knowledge of 
which they make no practical use." 

Because this ideal represents on the whole the thought 



of the average Roman of either upper or lower class through 
the centuries that brought and continued the greatness of 
Rome, let us conclude this chapter here at the end of the 
primary and practical stage of education, which constituted 
the only education in anything like general use, and reserve 
the higher stages for separate treatment as belonging to the 



The little boy is seen in several scenes, under the fig tree playing with a goose and 
a toy, and riding with his parents. The figure of the winged angel seems to prove 
this a Christian sarcophagus. 

First, however, let us read two expressions of opinion 
which will help us appreciate the spirit of the Roman in the 
training of his children. 

The one is from Tacitus, in whose Dialogue on Orators a 
speaker is recalling the virtues of earlier days. 

"For in other days a man's son, born of a chaste mother, was 
brought up not in the chamber of a hired nurse but in the loving 
embrace of his mother, whose praise before all else was that she 
guarded the home and devoted herself to her children ; or, some 
elderly woman relative would be chosen, to whose tried and ap- 
proved character all the children of the same household could be 
entrusted, and in whose presence nothing was allowed that might 


seem unworthy in speech or improper in act. And not only their 
studies and school tasks, but their relaxations and their play, 
were watched over by their mother with a kind of holy reverence. 
In this way we are told that Cornelia, the mother of the Gracchi, 
and Aurelia, Caesar's mother, and Atia, the mother of Augustus, 
attended in person the bringing up of their sons and made noble 
men of them. This was a training whose strictness resulted in 
natures which were pure and without blemish and undistorted by 
any sort of defect, so that each one of them was ready straightway 
with all his powers to seize upon the honorable branches of study, 
and so that, whether he had inclined toward the army or to law or 
eloquence, he pursued that alone and mastered it completely. 
But in these days of ours the child is handed over at birth to some, 
worthless Greek servant girl, to whom are added one or two slaves 
picked out of the lot, often the cheapest and those unfit for any 
serious service. With the stories and superstitions of such as 
these are the fresh and tender minds imbued, and nobody in the 
whole household has a thought for what he says or does in the 
presence of his child master." 

It was about this same time that Juvenal wrote the 
famous line, Maxima debetur puero reverentia "the great- 
est respect is due to the child." 

The other passage is Mommsen's r6sum6 of Plutarch's 
characterization of Marcus Porcius Cato the Censor in the 

"The old general was present in person, whenever it was pos- 
sible, at the washing and swaddling of his children. He watched 
with reverential care over their childlike innocence, he assures 
us that he was as careful lest he should utter an unbecoming word 
in presence of his children as if he had been in presence of the Ves- 
tal Virgins, and that he never before the eyes of his daughters 
embraced their mother, except when she had become alarmed 
during a thunderstorm. The education of the son was perhaps the 
noblest portion of his varied and variously honorable activity. 
True to his maxim, that a ruddy-cheeked boy was worth more than 
a pale one, the old soldier in person initiated his son into all bodily 
exercises, and taught him to wrestle, to ride, to swim, to box, and 


to endure heat and cold. But he felt very justly that the time had 
gone by when it sufficed for a Roman to be a good farmer and 
soldier ; and he felt also that it could not but have an injurious 
influence on the mind of his boy, if he should subsequently learn 
that the teacher, who had rebuked and punished him and had won 
his reverence, was a mere slave. Therefore he in person taught the 
boy what a Roman was wont to learn, to read and write and know 
the law of the land ; and even in his later years he worked his way 
so far into the general culture of the Hellenes, that he was able to 
deliver to his son in his native tongue whatever in that culture he 
deemed to be of use to a Roman." 


j?Jot even the first stage in Roman education, as we have 
, was the lot of every child. The part of it received in 
school instruction was far from being universal, and it is but 
natural to suppose that the part depending on the parents 7 
interest was in many cases neglected. 

We have seen also that, for the great majority of those 
who were provided for in school or at home, the training 
thus received was their only preparation for life except the 
living of life itself. The number of those whose elementary 
training was followed by formal instruction in higher 
branches was by comparison very scant. The falling ofi 
was much greater than that of to-day between the primary 
and the advanced. 

The teacher of Roman youth in the second stage of Roman 
education was the grammaticus. As might be expected from 
the name, the training in this stage had largely to do with 
language. Its materials were the content of Greek and Ro- 
man books, and its exercises were concerned with the mas- 
tery of their content and with the use of the spoken and 
written word. 

The school of the grammaticus was a natural step in the 
advance of enlightenment in a growing civilization which 
had begun with a little city-state of shepherds and farmers* 
When the Romans received in surrender the city of Taren-* 
turn in 272 B.C. and became the undisputed masters of 
Greek Italy, and when in 265 B.C. they crossed the Strait ot ! 



Messina into Sicily and incurred the enmity of Carthage, 
they entered upon a course which in less than a hundred 
years was to bring them into contact with the culture of all 
the Mediterranean world and to open their eyes to their 
own lack of the cultural graces. Many a Roman soldier 
during these years saw for the first time the cities of the older 
civilization, and many a Roman officer and envoy returned 
to the younger and ruggeder city on the Tiber with vivid 
recollections of an urban life brilliant with the architecture 
and sculpture and painting and drama of a long-established 

It was to this intercourse with Greek lands through the 
army, through commerce, through the Greek-speaking slaves 
who began to be common in Rome, through the Greek ad- 
venturers after fortune in the rising western city, that the 
amplification of fche Roman ideal of education was due. 
The leading spirits in the movement were the elder Scipio 
who vanquished Hannibal, the younger Scipio who destroyed 
the city of Hannibal, and the friends who with them are 
remembered by history as the Scipionic Circle. The ex- 
ample they set was not without consequences. In time, 
Greek came to be in a limited way the fashion. The nurse- 
maids of antiquity were likely to be Greek, as in certain 
modern countries they are likely to be French. 

The first new schools were modeled in both language and 
content upon the schools of Greek lands. Their nucleus was 
Greek poetry, and especially Homer. The Iliad and the 
Odyssey were studied not only for their language and con- 
tent, but were made the vehicle for instruction in geography, 
mythology, and morality, and for practice in composition 
and declamation. Like the humanities of to-day, this study 
of great literature in ancient times was either full of intel- 
lectual and spiritual richness or barren and unproductive, 



according as the teacher was well equipped and resourceful 

or unimaginative and arid. 
The grammar schools in Greek were not alone. The 

grammar school in Latin also came into being. Having at 

first no Latin literature to form desirable subject matter, it 
adapted the Greek. Livius Androni- 
cus, a Greek boy who was brought to 
Rome a slave from Tarentum after its 
capture by the Romans in 272 B.C., 
and who became a teacher and literary 
craftsman, made a Latin translation 
of the Odyssey in the old Saturniai> 
verse native to the Latins and ofteii 

likened to the English nursery meter, 

"The queen was in the parlor, eating bread 
and honey." 

The first verse of the Odyssey came 
out something like, 

"0 Muse, sing me the hero, Ulysses wise 
and crafty." 

By the time of Cicero, the plays of 
Terence, Plautus, and the tragic writers 
were added to the resources of the Latin 
grammaticus, and soon Virgil and Horace and Livy were to 
contribute still greater riches. With his country's heroic 
past now celebrated in epic, lyric, and history, the Roman 
boy of Augustan times in the grammar school had a wealth 
of inspiring matter in his own tongue as well as in Greek. 

The variety of study possible in the use of literature alone 
is suggested by a sentence of Cicero in his work On the Orator, 
where he enumerates among the operations of the grammar 
ticus in teaching, "the thorough treatment of the poets, the 


This conception of the 
poet as bearded, old, and 
blind has prevailed since 
at least the fourth century 
before Christ. 


mastering of history, the interpretation of words, and a cer- 
tain style in utterance." The possibilities of Roman his- 
tory in the matter of character development are suggested 
by the work of Valerius Maximus, in which the lives of great 
Romans and stories from Roman history are made to illus- 
trate the ideals of courage, endurance, abstinence, self- 
control, dutiful behavior toward parents, and friendship. 
The ministry of the poet to humanization in general is no- 
where more richly expressed than by Horace in the first 
Epistle of the second book : 

"The poet forms the tender and hesitating speech of the child: 
sven now he diverts his ear from impure talk, and presently also 
moulds his sentiments by means of friendly precept ; a corrector 
of harshness, envy, and anger. He tells of noble deeds, he edifies 
the oncoming years with well-known examples, he consoles the 
helpless and afflicted. 1 ' 

The end of the grammar period we have been considering 
must have coincided in many cases with the formal entrance 
of the Roman boy into citizenship. This important event 
took place at about the age of sixteen, though the age might 
vary, and it was usually the occasion for a celebration lasting 
the entire day. The day chosen was the 17th of March 
called Liberalia, the feast of Liber, a deity of ancient Italian 
origin. Its events began early in the morning with a sacri- 
fice to the household gods and the dedication to them of the 
now discarded bulla and purple-bordered toga of boyhood. 
The main feature of the day was the putting on of the plain 
white toga of manhood called toga virilis or toga pura. The 
family and friends then went in procession to the Forum and 
the appropriate office, presumably the Tabularium, or regis- 
try building, where the new citizen's name was added to 
the list of Romans with full rights. This formality accom- 

104 1HE ROMAN 

plished, the procession continued up the Capitoline Hill to 
leave an offering at the shrine of Liber. 

Marcus Tullius Cicero, the son of the orator, assumed the 
toga of manhood thus on the Liberalia in the year 49 B.C. at 
the age of sixteen, just as the struggle between Caesar and 
the Senate was beginning whose complications led to the 
tragic end of the father. The record of the event is pre- 
served in two letters to Atticus. In the first, written at 
Formiae on March 11, while Caesar was blockading Pompev 
in Brundisium, Cicero says : 

"I shall follow your advice and not retire to Aipinum at this 
time, although I wanted to give the toga pura to my Cicero there, 
and could have left this for Caesar as my excuse. But perhaps he 
will see offense in the very fact that I am not doing it rather at 

The second is dated April 1, two weeks after Pompey had 
e&caped from Caesar and crossed the Adriatic : 

"Since Rome is no longer ours, I chose to give the toga pura 
to my Cicero at Arpinum, and our townsmen were much pleased 
by it. Yet all of them, and men wherever I go, I find gloomy and 

The nephew of Cicero, Quintus Cicero Junior, also received 
the toga virilis at sixteen. He was at the time with his 
uncle Marcus Cicero, Governor of Cilicia, who wrote to 
Atticus about January 1, 50 B.C. : "I am asked to give the 
toga pura to your sister's son Quintus on my arrival at 
Laodicea." Virgil and the young Augustus were enrolled 
as Roman citizens at seventeen and fifteen, the former on 
October 15, the latter on October 18. The younger Antony 
was enrolled at fourteen. There were examples of the tran- 
sition made as early as the twelfth year, and as late as the 



The toga virilis and entrance into citizenship remind us 
of our modern "coming of age 77 at twenty-one. If we 
reflect that the event took place frequently on the 17th of 
March at the opening of spring, that it was under the 
patronage of Liber, an ancient god of growth, and that it 
symbolized the State's approval of the boy as a member of 
the civic communion, we may compare 
it also with modern Confirmation. 

The next stage in Roman education 
is usually called the school of rhetoric. 
The students here were still fewer and 
more select. It was attended only by 
those whose ambition was to become 
orators, which meant those who aimed 
at the public career and its round of 
offices, ending in the consulship and 
the highest dignity in the State. It 
was of Greek origin ; its teachers were 
the accomplished masters of composi- 
tion and declamation who abounded 
in Athens and the cities of Asia Minor ; 
its instruction was in both Greek and 
Latin ; and its whole concern was with the written and oral 
word, theoretical as well as practical, but mainly practical. 
Its two great devices were the writing of speeches put in the 
mouths of real or fancied persons, and the debate on some 
famous act or policy in history. It was not unusual for the 
ambitious young man to employ the rhetor in private, and 
the exceptionally talented were encouraged to finish their 
education in oratory by going to the best Greek teachers of 
eloquence on their own soil. 

The importance of speech in the mind of the Roman can 
hardly be imagined in our day of careless enunciation and 


Perhaps Sophocles. 


contempt for "rhetoric," a great art which we confuse with 
high-flown public speaking and "fine writing." We should 
remember that Rome to the time of Augustus was a State 
whose policy, and often f ortunes, were determined by the 
able public speaker, that there were no printed newspapers, 
and that there was comparatively little publication; that 
the Senate, perhaps the world's most dignified assembly, 
was a body of several hundreds of men who were critical of 
speech as well as ideas; that the many-headed Populus 
Romanus in assembly was a hard body to dominate ; and, 
not least, that much of the public speaking in Rome was in 
the open air or in large chambers, and required the expert 
management of voice. 

The artificialities of training in rhetoric were of course 
pronounced, and did not escape the shafts of the satirist. 
Its themes especially were worn threadbare. "I too/' 
writes Juvenal, "have urged upon Sulla to enjoy deep sleep 
as a private citizen." "Go your mad way and hurry over 
the terrible Alps," he says to Hannibal, "that you may 
please boys as a subject for declamation." Again, he repre- 
sents the professor of rhetoric as complaining of the dull 
student whose miserable head is filled with the deliberations 
of Hannibal after the battle of Cannae, "whether he shall 
march on Rome, or, made cautious by the lightnings of a 
thunderstorm, he shall wheel his cohorts about all dripping 
from the tempest. Name any price you please and take it 
at once what am I to give, for his father to hear the 
dunce as many times as I have heard him?" 

On the other hand, the variety and richness of an orator's 
education when carried out in ideal fashion may be judged 
from the words of Tacitus as he writes of Cicero : 

"Not content with the teachers that fell to his lot in abundance 
at Rome, he ranged over Greece also, and Asia, in order to make 


his own the entire variety of all branches of knowledge. For it is 
true that in the works of Cicero you may find proof that he did 
not lack in the knowledge of geometry, or of music, or of grammar, 
or, in a word, of any liberal branch of learning. He was a man 
who knew the subtleties of dialectic, the usefulness of ethics, the 
movements of nature and their causes. The truth of the matter, 
my dear friends, is this, that out of much learning in a great many 
subjects, and out of a universal knowledge, wells forth in its rich- 
ness that wonderful eloquence of his." 

The equipment of Cicero here described is really beyond 
the ordinary school of the rhetor, but no doubt represents 
the spirit of the best masters in the preparation of the orator 
for his work in life. 

With our consideration of the training in rhetoric, we have 
really passed to the field of specialization, or professional 
preparation. There were no doubt some students in the 
schools of rhetoric whose purpose was only the general im- 
provement of their faculties for whatever life they were to 
lead; but by far the greater number contemplated their 
studies as leading definitely toward the courts, or the school- 
room, or officeholding under the State. 

In the matter of the professions in general, it is to be noted 
that in ancient Rome there were no colleges of law, medicine, 
engineering, and the like. The rhetorical schools were the 
nearest to the modern professional college, but even they 
were hardly the same. The Roman equivalent was the 
practical custom of tirocinium^ apprenticeship. The young 
student of the law was loosely attached to some jurist of 
renown, went with him into court, sat with him as he gave 
advice, and perhaps was allowed to assist him in minor 

"After assuming the toga of manhood," says Cicero in the 
Essay on Friendship, "I was taken by my father to Quintus 
Scavola, and, as long as I cotild and he allowed it, I never left 


the bid man's side. Many wise discussions of his, and many 
brief and neatly turned utterances, I stored away in memory, 
and was eager through his wisdom to make myself more capable. 
After his death, I attached myself to Scaevola the Pontifex." 

Caelius and Trebatius in later years were associated in 
the same manner with Cicero. In other professions, and 
in Roman occupations in general, especially in the arts and 
crafts, the same method of preparation was customary. 

In conclusion, let us look briefly at a phase of education 
denied to all but the very few who gave quite special promise 
or who had more than average means. This was study 
abroad, the equivalent of study in European lands by young 

The most renowned of cities in the ancient world was 
Athens in Milton's phrase, "Athens the eye of Greece, 
mother of arts and eloquence." When Augustus ruled at 
Rome, its most glorious period was already four hundred 
years in the past, but it was still the intellectual capital of 
the far-flung Hellenic culture. Cicero, at the age of twenty- 
six, spent six months there, studying under its famous mas- 
ters of eloquence. Horace was studying there in 44 B.C. 
when the news came that Caesar was assassinated. Marcus 
Cicero Junior was sent there at the age of twenty and cost 
his father no little money and anxiety. An account of this 
university student's career will be a fitting end to our study 
"in higher education. 

Young Marcus is already in the famous city in March, 
45 B.C., when Ms father writes to Atticus, his banker and life- 
time friend, asking hi to propose to the young man to 
keep within the thirty-five hundred dollars or so that came 
from certain rentals in Rome, and adding that he would 
wager other young men would not spend more. In August, 
Atticus reproached Cicero with having made his son's allow- 


ance too generous for the boy's good, and the father replied 
that, whatever young Marcus' record, it would be disgrace- 
ful to himself to have him hampered by lack of funds during 
the first year. In the spring of the next year, one of the uni- 
versity officials wrote Cicero in a manner so little reassuring 


The third from the left in the upper row is Socrates ; the fourth in the lower, 

perhaps Hannibal. 

that he thought of going to Athens to see for himself. In 
May, 44 B.C., two months after Caesar's assassination, young 
Marcus wants to go on a visit to Asia with Trebonius, one 
of the conspirators, and to take with him Cratippus, his 
professor of philosophy. Trebonius intercedes for him. 
Requests for money continue, and finally Marcus is ordered 
to get rid of Gorgias, a tutor distinguished quite as much 
for immorality as for rhetoric. In August, he writes to his 
father's private secretary, Tiro, a letter whose contents are 


meant much more for Tiro's employer than for Tiro him- 

A glimpse into Marcus Junior's letter tells much about 
conditions in the University of Athens as well as about its 
writer. Among other things, we note the tutorial relationship 
between student and instructor. After telling in superla- 
tives how very, very glad he was to get his dearest and 
kindest father's letter, and how his happiness was made com- 
plete by Tiro's own most delightful letter, he continues : 

"I don't doubt that the reports you hear about me are pleasing 
and welcome, my dearest Tiro, and I promise you I'll do my best 
to have this good opinion which is being formed of me increased 
more and more as time goes on. So what you promise about your 
being the trumpeter of the esteem in which I am held, you can 
do with all assurance ; for so much regret and torment have the 
mistakes of my youth brought me that not only does my soul 
shrink from the things I have done, but my ears also abhor their 
very mention. . . . 

"Since therefore you were pained by me, now I assure you that 
your pleasure will be doubled by me. You will be glad to know 
that with Cratippus I am on very intimate terms more a son 
than a pupil ; for not only do I enjoy his lectures, but I am greatly 
attracted by his genial ways. I am with him whole days and often 
part of the night, for I am able to prevail on him often to have 
dinner with me. . , . What shall I say of Bruttius, whom I 
never allow to leave me a man of simple and austere life with 
whom it is a great delight to associate, because we do not bar 
humor from our literary studies and daily philosophical discus- 
sions. I have engaged lodgings for him next door, and am support- 
ing as well as I can from my scant means his needy condition. 
Besides, I have begun declamation in Greek with Cassius, but in 
Latin I want to have my exercises with Bruttius. I have as 
intimate friends and daily companions the fellows Cratippus 
brought with him from Mitylene, clever men whom he thinks very 
well of. I see a great deal also of Epicrates, the leader of the 
Athenians, and Leonides, and others like them. 


"So much, then, for things about myself. Yes, and as to your 
writing about Gorgias well, he was good in my daily declama- 
tion, but I have subordinated everything to being obedient to my 
father's directions ; and he has written expressly for me to let him 
go immediately. I didn't want to argue the case for fear too much 
interest on my part would start some suspicion in him ; and then 
this too occurred to me, that it was a serious thing for me to set up 
my own judgment against my father's. Nevertheless, your inter* 
est and good advice are very acceptable. . . ." 



To the average cultivated person, mention of the 
woman calls up thoughts of dignity, nobility, common sense, 
and strength. It calls up also the names of women remem- 
bered for these qualities, like Lucretia, Cornelia, Porcia. 

The women of Rome, like the men, were of many characters 
and conditions. They were bond and free, native and of 
alien blood, rich and poor. Like the men, too, they changed 
as the State grew older, larger, more powerful, and wealthier. 
The type we shall, make the basis of our study will be the 
daughter, wife, sister, mother of the citizen in the times be- 
fore the less worthy type began to be prominent. 

The little Roman girl was given her name on the eighth day 
after birth, one day earlier than her brother. The range of 
names available for her was even less than that in use for 
him, but probably more of hers are still employed to-day. 
The names of women do not yield so easily as men's names to 
classification or analysis, and were used with less formality 
and strictness. We may distinguish various types, however. 
There were those like Cornelia, Caecilia, Valeria, Tullia, 
Julia, Terentia, Livia, Aurelia, Calpurnia, and Claudia, 
which were only the father's nomen, or gentile name, in 
feminine form. There were those like Lucia, Publia, Gala, 
Attica, and Paulla, which were the feminine form of the 
father's praenomen or cognomen. There were some which 
indicated order in birth or importance, as Secunda, Maxima. 
There were diminutives, like Tulliola and Secundilla, formed 




from Tullia and Secunda, and there were diminutives formed 
from the father's name, as Agrippina, Messalina, Faustina. 
The three-part name in use for men was not customary 
with women. One name usually sufficed, and when there 
were two, the second was likely to be the possessive of the 
father's cognomen, as Tullia Ciceronis. 

The one at the light may be Minatia Polla. The other is seen in two views. 

Up to about the age of six, the care and education and 
dress of the girl were little different from the boy's. During 
the years that followed, the difference was greater. As the 
girl's destiny was marriage and the keeping of a home, her 
attendance in the schools was shorter than her brother's, and 
the portion of her education that consisted of training in the 
duties of the home was greater. Whether in city or country, 
we must imagine her the companion and intimate of her 
mother, learning to spin the wool into thread and to weave 
the thread into the garments of the household, to sew, to 
provide for the table, or, if the household was well-to-do, to 
direct the work of the slaves. In the more cultivated homes, 



no doubt some of her time went into accomplishments, such 
as embroidery and other fancy work. 

The time the Roman girl could spend in the studies of the 
school was further limited by the shortness of the time before 

she arrived at the age of 
marriage. This could be 
as early as twelve, but the 
usual age was probably 
la^er by several years. 
The women of Mediter- 
ranean lands are likely, 
other things equal, to 
marry at an earlier age 
than their northern sis- 

It should be noted, 
first, that the Roman girl 
brought a dowry, the 
Latin word for which, dos 3 
has passed into French as 
dot, and, humorously, into 
English as "dot." The 
dowry might be either 
A ROMAN GEBL money or belongings, 

and was furnished by 

the father or other head of the family ; or, in case of inde- 
pendence, by the bride herself. The engagement was often 
made a solemn ceremony, with the formal dialogue which has 
been preserved : 

"'Dost thou promise Gaia, thy daughter, to my son in 

" 'The blessing of the gods rest upon it, I promise.' 
" 'The blessing of the gods rest upon it ! "' 


A ring was usual, worn on the third finger of the left hand, 
and the girl might also give some present in return. 

For the marriage itself, only two acts were necessary : the 
formal consent of both parties, and the joining of hands in 
the presence of witnesses. No priest was necessary, and no 
official of the State. The wedding in a good family, however, 
was celebrated with many formal acts. 

On the evening before her wedding, the bride had dedi- 
cated to the Lares her bulla and the bordered toga of her 
girlhood; and clothed herself, for the sake of good omen, in 
the tunic of one piece which was to be worn at the ceremony. 
In the morning her mother, no doubt attended by all the 
women of the household, arranged her hair in the traditional 
wedding fashion by dividing it with a spear point into six 
strands, a bit of symbolism with obscure meaning. She also 
fastened about the tunic a band in a manner called the knot 
of Hercules, this deity being a guardian of marriage and a 
patron of good fortune: and draped her in the flamrneum, 
the bridal veil, so called from its flame color. Its cloudlike 
nature was no doubt responsible for the verb nubere, related 
to nubes, a cloud, and meaning to take the veil, or to marry. 

Thus costumed, and adorned with ribbons, jewelry, and a 
crown of flowers, the bride met the bridegroom, who had 
come to the house door in toga and chaplet, escorted by a 
wedding party of relatives and friends. After the omens of 
the sacrificial sheep had been reported favorable, she entered 
with him into the atrium, where the ceremonial clasping of 
right hands took place before ten witnesses and the wedding 
company. The matron who stood between them and some- 
what behind to join their hands was the pronuba. The 
promise of the bride corresponding to our "in sickness and in 
health, etc., till death do us part," was Ubi tu Gains, ego 
Gaia "Wheresoever thou Gaius, I Gaia." Our " Dost thou 



take this woman to be thy wedded wife?" etc., was repre- 
sented in another form of marriage by the questions, "Dost 
thou will to be my pater familias t" " Dost thou will to be 
my mater familias ? " 

In the aristocratic wedding, the wedded pair next took 
seats at the left of the altar on the skin of the sacrificial 
sheep, while the Pontifex Maximus and the Priest of Jupiter, 
attended by an acolyte, made an offering to Jupiter and a 


The bride and groom clasp hands over the symbol of an altar, the pronuba, in this 
case Juno, standing behind them. The remaining figures are probably deities, e.g. 
at the right are various gods of agriculture. 

prayer to Juno, patroness of married life, and to the time- 
honored deities of the fields and their fruits whose blessing 
would bring a thriving family. At this formal ending, the 
whole assembly crowded about the new man and wife with 
congratulations, or felicitations, expressed by Felidter! 
"with best wishes for happiness I" 

There was of course the wedding feast ; and, finally, after 
its termination at the end of the day, the procession escorting 
the bride to her new home. This procession, called deductio, 
was an invariable feature of the wedding in high life, and 
served as well as the clasping of hands for the formal act 
required by the law. 


The bridal progress was a spectacle of never failing inter- 
est to the neighbors and general public. The bride, sepa- 
rated by the groom from her mother with pretended force, 
found already marshaled in front of the house the various 
members of the procession, and heard the strains of the 
hymeneal song. Preceded by a boy with a whitethorn torch, 
she started on her way At her side and holding her by the 
hand, were two other boys, all three in purple-bordered white, 
and behind came first an attendant bearing the distaff and 
spindle that symbolized the character of the Roman matron ; 
then, carrying the holy emblems, the acolyte who had served 
at the altar ; and, finally, all the wedding party. The curi- 
ous crowd, according to custom, cried out Talassio! though 
no one knew its meaning, shouted good-humored jests that 
sometimes reddened the bride's cheeks, and scrambled for 
the nuts, reminding us of rice, which the bridegroom scat- 
tered as he walked. 

At the portal of her new home, the bride wound its posts 
with the symbolic wool, touched the door with oil and fat 
with a prayer for a life of plenty, as a precaution against the 
bad omen of a slip of the foot was lifted over the threshold, 
recited the formula, Ubi tu Gains, ego Gaia " wherever thou 
Gaius, I Gaia" and was met in the atrium by the bride- 
groom, who presented her with the fire and water that 
symbolized the home and their life together. The bride 
lighted the waiting hearth with the whitethorn torch, and 
threw it, like the modern wedding bouquet, among the eager 
guests, to be carried off by the nimblest as t token of good 
luck. After a prayer by the bride, the pronuba conducted 
her to the lectus genialis, the couch which from that time on 
was to stand in the atrium as the symbol of union. 

We have been witnessing what might be called the wed- 
ding in high life, like the modern aristocratic church wedding. 


It was called confarreatio, from the sacrificial cake made of 
far, a certain kind of flour, and was the most formal, most 
aristocratic, and most ancient form of marriage. Its origin 
went back to times when the patricians constituted the 
State, were its only citizens, and married only within their 
own rank. 

As the civic body grew larger and more complex, however, 
two other forms of marriage developed in answer to need. 
One was coemptio, or purchase, a ceremony distinguished by 
the pretended sale of the bride for a symbolic coin which was 
placed in actual scales. Another, called tmts, use or practice, 
was based upon living together for one year. Both usus and 
coemptio were plebeian, and arose in times when the patri- 
cian marriage was the only form of citizen union. The 
details leading to the agreement of usus marriage, the terms 
of the period, and the formal acts at the end which gave the 
pact a final authority, all are lost to us ; but, in the absence 
of complaint or comment, we may suppose that this most 
universal form of marriage was attended by obligations and 
safeguards which made it regular and of good repute, and 
that it was attended on occasion by ceremonies which made 
it as much an event in its own circles as the patrician mar- 
riage was in high society. Wedding celebrations of this kind 
may be compared with our home and civil weddings. 

It has been noted that in early times only the patricians 
were citizens, and only the patrician marriage was recog- 
nized as legal by the State. When, toward the end of the 
Monarchy, the plebeians were made citizens, their marriages 
too were recognized as legal. It was not until 445 B.C., how- 
ever, that marriage was legal between plebeian and patrician. 
By this time there were many plebeian families whose 
wealth and culture made i/hem in everything but rank the 
equals or even superiors of the patricians, and the " mixed 


marriage" was not only legal but in many cases socially 

There were other mixed marriages. The union of a citizen 
with a noncitizen was legal, but the children were citizens 
only in case the father was a citizen. Again, in case of union 
between a citizen and a person from some race or community 

Chains, necklaces, ear-rings, brooches, and two bullas. 

not having the right of marriage with Roman citizens, the 
act was legal, but the children were not citizens unless their 
father was. 

A word should be said about property rights and about 
divorce. In the original confarreate marriage, the wife 
passed "into the hand" of the husband, and his rights over 
her and her property were the same as in the case of his sons 
and daughters, except the right over life. In the marriage 
called usus, the wife might pass into the hand in the same 
absolute manner, or she might marry, retaining membership 


and the usual property rights in her f ather's family. To do 
this, it was necessary for her each year to spend a period of 
three nights away from her husband. In the coemptio or 
purchase marriage, the other form of plebeian union, the 
passing into the hand was retained, an imitation of the con- 
farreate union which may have been meant to carry social 
distinction. As time went on, however, marriage came to 
be more and more frequent without passing into the hand, 
and consequently without surrender of property rights to 
the husband. 

This gradual but effective breaking of custom was both 
an accompaniment and a cause of the increase of freedom 
in Roman society. When the simple and strenuous period 
of early Rome had passed, and above all when the Punic 
Wars and the annexation of many provinces had brought 
the expansion of wealth and the increase of worldliness that 
went with racial and social experience, the absolute de- 
pendence of the wife on the old marital relation became 
distasteful first, and afterward unendurable. Economic 
and social freedom occupied more and more the minds of 
women, until by the time of Augustus divorces and illicit 
relations were so frequent as hardly to be scandalous. The 
Roman divorce was hindered legally only by the obligation 
on the part of the man to restore the dowry. The attitude 
of the family and the social circle no doubt served to restrain 
and to regulate, but at best the marriage relation, even in 
Cicero's time, was far from the dignity and constancy of the 
ideal union. 

But it is not the purpose of this chapter to rehearse the 
scandals of the new-woman movement of ancient Rome. 
Let us not recount the usual stories of independence, arro- 
gance, extravagance, ostentation, and abandonment, of 
mothers who refuse to rear their children, of women who 



count the years by husbands instead of by consuls, of 
noblewomen defiantly throwing away their names, of 
princesses who disgrace their fathers, of empresses who 
betray and poison their husbands ; remembering in charity 
that Slander, like Death, loves a shining mark, and may be 
trusted to do injus- 
tice even to the bad. 
There is no doubt 
as to a weakening 
of character in both 
the women and the 
men of the late Re- 
public and early 
Empire. There is 
no doubt also that 
its causes had long 
been coming with 
the change of Rome 
from the little rus- 
tic State in Central 
Italy to the State 
that included the Mediterranean world with the in- 
crease in the number of woman slaves in the house and in 
entertainment circles, and the increase in all the immorali- 
ties that cluster about the institution of slavery ; with the 
increase in the foreign class and in all the fluidities and 
irresponsibilities that belong to the alien and adventurous ; 
with the increase in wealth and its possibilities as the means 
of defying opinion and authority ; with the growth of a high 
society that set aside the principles and laws that governed 
the ordinary citizen. All this operated not only to encourage 
relaxation of the moral bond in men, whose life by nature is 
less restrained, but gradually to loosen the bonds of women,. 


The lady on thd right is Faustina, wife of Antoninus 


who by reason of the limited field of woman's life are the 
more conservative sex. 

Let us rather conclude by remembering that Roman 
womanhood included very many more than the few so 
fiercely assailed by the satirists, and that throughout the 
centuries of Rome's existence the ideal of the mother and 
wife and sister and daughter of the olden times was an ever 
present and living influence, constantly appearing in the 

"Purity, loyalty, affection, the sense of duty, a yield- 
ing nature, and whatever qualities God has implanted 
in women" is one of the many tributes to the Roman 
woman surviving in epitaphs. 

"You were a faithful wife to me, and an obedient one," 
records another ; "you were kind and gracious, sociable and 
friendly; you were ever busied with your spinning; you 
observed the religious rites of your household and your 
State, and allowed no foreign cults or degraded magic ; you 
did not dress ostentatiously, nor seek to make a display in 
your household arrangements." 

These are the sincere expressions that spring from the 
emotion of fresh bereavement, and their sincerity is con- 
firmed by the less personal and more judicial record of the 
poet and historian. This is the manner in which the Roman 
Empire thought of the mothers of its early days, and this is 
the manner in which for fifteen centuries the later world has 
thought of the Roman woman. 

BUT; pernaps in our admiration for the loftier virtues of the 
Roman matron we have not realized as we should that the 
faithfulness and devotion which made her a blessing to her 
household were prompted by a heart that glowed with 
affection. Let the verses of two Romans far separated in 
time afford us a glimpse of the truth. 


Statius, an admirer of Virgil who died at fifty-five in 
A.D. 96, thus addressed his wife Claudia : 

"May that kind Power 

Who joined our hands when in thy beauty's flower 
Still, when the blooming years of life decline, 
Prolong the blessing, and preserve thee mine. . . . 
I saw thee, what thou art, when late I stood 
On the dark verge of the Lethaean flood. 
When, glazed in death, I closed my quivering eyes, 
Relenting fate restored me to thy sighs. 
Thou wert alone the cause ; the Power above 
Feared thy despair and melted to thy love." 

Ausonius, born A.D. 310 in Bordeaux and reared there, 
writes in a simpler strain to the wife whom he married at 
twenty-four when she was eighteen, and who died at twenty- 
seven. They have been married less than nine years when 
he composes the touching lines : 

"Be life what it has been, and let us hold, 
Dear wife, the names we each gave each of old ; 
And let not time work change upon us two, 
I still your boy, and still my sweetheart you. 
What though I outlive Nestor? and what though 
You in your turn a Sibyl's years should know? 
Ne'er let us know old age or late or soon ; 
Count not the years, but take of each its boon." 

At seventy, after nearly twoscore years, still lonely with' 
out her, he addresses her again, feeling the loss as if it were 

"Others in their sorrows are comforted by time; these wounds 
of mine are only deepened by the long years. . . . My hurt is 
made the worse by the voiceless and silent house, in which there 
is no one for me to tell of my griefs or pleasures." 


The same soil was under and about the feet of the ancient 
Roman as lies about the modern Roman; the same blue 
sky in summer and shifting clouds in winter were over his 
head; the same waters washed his shores and carried his 
ships ; he had the same physical needs and the same desires. 
To know for the most part what the common man ate and 
drank and how he lived, we have only to look upon modern 
Italy and the modern Roman. In reality there are many 
differences, but they depend less upon foods themselves than 
upon the manner of their use. Some of the differences most 
striking to us are due to the excesses of the rich which are 
made so prominent by the ancient writers of satire and 

One of the two great feeders of the modern Roman is the 
land of Italy. It produces the wheat that makes his various 
forms of bread, his macaroni, and his pastries; there are 
other cereals, principally Indian corn and rice, but wheat is 
the chief, and in it the kingdom is nearly self-supporting. 
It produces the fruits that, each in its season, appear upon 
his table : the apples and oranges of winter, the strawberries 
and the cherries of late spring, the peaches and pears and 
apricots and melons and plums of summer, the figs and 
grapes of autumn. It sends him in autumn and winter the 
chestnut, to be roasted or boiled or made a dessert ; and the 
hazelnut and almond, to be used alone or in confections. It 
yields the olive and its oil, one of the richest contributions to 




the "golden apples of the Hesperides" of the ancient tales 
are a proof that the orange was not at home in Italy. Among 
vegetables, we must not think of potatoes and the tomato in 
ancient Rome. Among meats, beef should be mentioned as 
not so generally used as in modern times. Among dairy prod- 

Below, barley and St. John's bread or beans ; above, perhaps rice and peas. 

ucts, butter was little used and the oil of the olive was univer- 
sal, as it is to-day. The place of sugar was taken by honey. 

These are the chief differences as to the great body of the 
people. An enumeration of the luxuries brought in from 
other lands for the rich might add to the number of differ- 
ences, but our impression would remain that ancient and 
modern food and drink, so far as the staples are concerned, 
are very much alike. 



The meals of the Romans, like our own, varied with time, 
place, occupation, rank, and wealth. The ways of the 
Empire differed from those of the early Republic ; the ways 
of the city were different from those of the country, the ways 
of the East from those of the West ; those of the artisan and 
the laborer from those of banker and lawyer; those of the 
plebeian poor from thoss cf the aristocrat and the rich. 


A customer or the proprietress with tablets, various cuts on the rack, 
cleaver, scales, butcher preparing a cut on the chopping block, receptacle for 

There are four names for the Roman meals, and they cor- 
respond to our breakfast, lunch, dinner, and supper. lento- 
culum, breakfast, is a word rarely met in Latin literature, 
and it disappeared with ancient Rome. Prandium, lunch, 
and cena, dinner, are very frequent, and survive in Italian 
pranzo and cena with the same meanings. Vesperna, supper, 
has also disappeared. 

In the earliest times, when city and country were still 
a unit and classes were not pronounced, the universal custom 
was breakfast in early morning, light or substantial accord- 
ing to occupation, dinner at mid-day, and supper when the 


day was over. This was the natural sequence for a people 
leading an active life afield and in the open air of the city, 
and in the country it continued and still continues. In the 
city, the natural sequence soon came to be breakfast, the 
merest taste of something light ; lunch, a fairly substantial 
meal ; and dinner, the chief repast of the day. 

These different sequences of Roman meals are exactly our 
own. Breakfast, dinner, and supper was the sequence for 
all in early American history, and remains so still for most of 
our country people. The order in the city, though by no 
means universal, is breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

With the average Roman of the city as the type, let us 
consider each meal of his day. 

Breakfast for the ancient Roman in the city will consist of 
a roll or piece of bread, with a glass of water or wine. Of 
course he will have no coffee, tea, or cocoa. He will take his 
breakfast as soon as he rises, which will be at an earlier or 
later hour according to occupation. The bakers and the 
delivery boys and the laborers will be up at dawn, and will 
eat more substantially. The lawyers, senators, and the 
rich, with those in the professional and commercial callings 
in general, will rise later. 

The Roman's lunch, in the middle of the day, consisted of 
bread, a substantial dish of eggs or meat, a vegetable or 
salad, a fruit, with perhaps cheese. He drank wine or milk. 

The Roman dinner, at the end of the day's activities, was 
what might be expected after the light breakfast and simple 
luncheon above described. It was usually of three parts. 
First, there was the gu^tus, or antecena, which the French 
would call hors-d'oeuvres, the Italians antipasti, and Ameri- 
cans the appetizer. This might be set on in great variety, 
for the diner to choose from: eggs, salt fish, lettuce, 
radishes, etc., with a mild wine, sometimes sweetened with 



honey and called mulsum. Second, there was the main 
service, or cena, consisting of several successive plates or 
courses, including probably one of fish, one of meat, and one 
of vegetables. With the cena, ordinary wine was drunk, 
with water added, as is the universal custom also in modern 
Rome. Third and last, came the dessert, called secunda 

mensa. The possibilities for 
this were cakes of various 
kinds, pastries in general, 
apples and other fruits, and 
nuts, with wines appropriate 
to sweets. There were no 
cigars or cigarettes. 

A simple dinner menu in 
Juvenal, about A.D. 100, is 
composed of: (1) asparagus 
and eggs; (2) kid and 
chicken ; (3) fruits. Martial, 
about the same time, has 
one made up of : (1) lettuce, onions, fish, and slices of egg ; 
(2) sausages, cereal, cauliflower, bacon and beans ; (3) pears, 
chestnuts, olives, toasted peas, green beans. It was so cus- 
tomary for eggs to appear in the gustus, and apples in 
the secunda mensa, that "from egg to apples" came to be 
the Roman way of saying "from start to finish." 

The composition of Roman food and drink and the ways 
of Roman meals as given in this account will sound to most 
readers strangely sensible. We are so accustomed to being 
told of the scandalous luxuries and excesses of the Roman 
rich man his nightingales' tongues, roast peacocks, and 
outlandish fish preparations that we forget the sober and 
well-conducted people that lived about him and really were 
the people of Rome. The high life' of the city belongs in a 

The baker's stamp is on it. 


chapter to come, in which the life of Rome will be presented 
as seen by the satirist. In this chapter the object of our 
study is not the exceptional but the ordinary in the ancient 
Roman's life. 

Where did the Roman eat his meals ? In the earlier days, 
in the atrium, the large and only living room. In the 
country, and in every city house that had a garden in its rear, 
the table would have been set, for a large part of the year, 
in the open air, sometimes under the sky, sometimes under 
a leading roof of wood or tile, sometimes under a trellis and 
vine. On the country estates and in the villages, many an 
evening would have found the family sitting in front of the 
house. It must not be forgotten that Italy is a Mediter- 
ranean country, that from May to October the warmth and 
sunshine prevail, and that through all these months there is 
almost never a drop of rain on Rome and the Campagna. 

The fact of climate should be remembered also for the 
times when Rome had become the great capital and the 
Roman house had become an establishment with atrium and 
peristyle surrounded by many rooms, and with kitchen and 
dining room elaborately equipped and occupying space of 
their own. Many a restaurant in Rome to-day has its 
tables actually on the sidewalk for at least six months in the 
year. In the palace or on the street, the ancients no doubt 
made like use of the air and sun. 

At least as early as the third century B.C., when Magna 
Graecia, or southern Italy, was annexed to the Roman State 
and brought its customs to the capital, the Roman dining 
room began to be called by the Greek name triclinium. The 
word, composed of "three" and "couch," describes the 
ancient equivalent of our dining table and chairs, and is 
applied also to the room containing them. It consisted of 
three broad, inclined couches about three feet high and ten 



feet tang, arranged about three sides of a table of rather small 
dimensions in such a manner as to leave a fourth side entirely 
free. The entire room, in the house of Pansa in Pompeii, was 
25 by 33 feet ; but this was very large. The usual dining room 
was little larger than the triclinium itself. The couches were 


It is of masonry, with serving table and dinner ware. The lectus sum- 
mus and lectus imus, at right and left, are joined by the leotus medius. On 
cither side of the angle made by the imus and the medius reclined the host 
and the guest of honor, the latter on the medius. 

of course comfortably mattressed, and draped according to 
the standing of the family. The triclinium might be movar 
ble, and in this case it consisted of three frames which, as 
restored in the Naples Museum, make us think of bedsteads. 
When permanent, it was composed of three solid and con- 
tinuous banks of masonry, with round or square table built 
ii* the same way, as seen among the ruins of Pompeii. A rich 


man's house might contain both a winter triclinium, built 
where it could catch the sun, and a summer triclinium, 
placed in a shady part of the house, or even on the second 

The triclinium, as the name indicates, was a dining table 
at which the diners reclined. The approved number of 
diners was nine. More than this number was too many; 
less than three, too few. "The number of guests," says 
Cicero's friend Varro, "should begin with the number of the 
Graces and go as far as the Muses ; that is, it should begin 
with three and end at nine." 

The diners reclined upon the left elbow, three on a couch, 
facing the table, which sometimes filled all the space be- 
tween the couches and served the same purpose as the modern 
table, and sometimes was only a serving table about which 
the slave could move as he ministered to the diners' needs. 
No cloth covered it ? and it was often a beautiful and expen- 
sive piece of furniture. 

Much of the food was served already prepared. The 
diner used spoons of various kinds, but no forks, and the 
knife but little. The fingers were much more freely used 
than now, but it need not be supposed that table manners 
were marked by less taste. Among the various features of 
the table service, which had its delicate earthenware and its 
richer and rarer bronze and silver and gold service, were 
certain constant things, such as the goblets and pitchers and 
mixing bowls for wine, the bread trays, and the salinum. 
The salinum was an ornamental container for the mingled 
meal and salt which was sprinkled on the family altar fire Ity 
the master of the house at a certain stage of the dinner, 
something after the manner of grace at table. In its most 
pretentious form, it was of silver and an heirloom. This is 
the kind which Horace has in mind when he describes the 



happy man as one whose easy slumbers are not broken by 
fear or sordid greed, and "on whose simple table gleams the 
salinum." This seems to mean that even the poor possessed 
the silver salinum as a matter of pride. The ordinary salt 
container went by the same name. 

The places at the Roman dinner were according to rank, 
or to the preference of the host. The couches or wings of 
the triclinium were known as the highest, middle, and lowest 


The rustic dealer is handing the gentleman customer a sample ; the careful and 
anxious process of drawing it from the large amphora is seen at the right. From a 
wall painting in the house of the Vettii, Pompeii. 

kctus summits, lectus medius, lectus imus. The imus was 
occupied by the host and his family or by the humbler 
guests ; the medius and summus by the guests of greater 
distinction. Each couch too had its summus, medius, and 
imus, or first, second, and third places. The host reclined at 
number one of the imus, and the guest of honor at his left on 
number three of the medius, a place called lectus consularis 
from its reservation for a consul whenever one was present. 
One triclinium in Pompeii is provided with a children's seat 
or bench, at the end of the imus. 


Reclining at dinner, especially when the dinner was a social 
function, was probably universal in the city, and in the more 
pretentious houses in the country. It will be better to 
imagine the breakfast as an affair of little or no formality, 
and the lunch also as likely to be informal ; and to think of 
the simpler households, and of the wealthier much of the- 
time, as eating their meals in the sitting posture and in the 
free and easy manner that might be expected in the intimate 
life of the family. 

An entertaining paragraph from Varro, the friend of 
Cicero just mentioned, will form a fit conclusion for our visit 
to the Roman dining room. The passage has been pre- 
served for us by Aulus Gellius, the gentleman who lived in 
Athens and wrote for the benefit of his grandsons a mis- 
cellany called Nights in Attica. 

"''There is a most delightful book in Marcus Varro's Menippean 
Satires entitled 'You Don't Know What Late Evening May 
Bring.' In it he discourses on the proper number of dinner guests 
and on the service of the dinner itself. He further says that the 
number of diners should begin from the number of the Graces and 
go as far as the number of the Muses ; that is, start from three 
and end at nine, so that when they are fewest they shall not be 
fewer than three, and when most, not more than nine. There 
should not be many, he says, because a crowded company in 
general makes confusion; at Rome standing, at Athens sitting, 
and nowhere reclining. 

"The dinner itself, he says next, consists of four things, and 
can be regarded as fulfilling its purpose in every respect only if it 
gathers together a company of choice spirits, if the place is suit- 
able, if the time is suitable, and if the service is not neglected. 
Further, he says, the guests chosen should neither be loquacious in 
their conversation nor dumb, because the place for eloquence is 
in the forum and before the jury seats, and silence belongs, not at 
a dinner party, but in a sleeping room. And so he recommends 
that the subjects of conversation should not be anxious and worn- 


some thing*, but pleasant and inviting matters, themes that im- 
prove and at the same time lead us delightfully on, so that our 
wit may gain in attractiveness and charm. This will of course be 
the result, he says, if we talk about the sort of things that have 
to do with our common experiences in living, matters that we have 
no time to discuss while occupied by public affairs and business. 
"Further, as to the one who gives the dinner, he says, it is not 
so important that he be splendid as that he avoid anything mean ; 
and not everything should be set before the guests, but rather such 
things as are wholesome and will be liked. He does not omit also 
to give us advice about the dessert and its nature." 


The world's greatest epigrammatist, Martial, a native of 
Spain, who came to Rome in Nero's time at the age of twenty- 
three and lived there for nearly forty years, describes in one 
epigram the main features of the Roman day of his time. 
The epigram was written sometime between A.D. 84 and 96> 
the limits of Domitian's reign, and was addressed to Euphe- 
mus, the steward of the imperial palace, who was to present 
a book of the poet's epigrams to the Emperor as he enjoyed 
bis wine at dessert. The day with which it deals is therefore 
seventy years after the death of Augustus, and is concerned 
with high life ; but the day in general was much the same in 
Rome throughout the first century of the Empire, and the 
day in this short poem will therefore serve as background for 
comments on the Roman's manner of spending his time. It 
should be kept in mind, however, that with him the hour, 
hora, meant one twelfth of the daylight or one twelfth of the 

"The first hour and the second," writes Martial, "are given to 
those who pay the morning call. The third hour exercises the 
pleaders of cases until they are hoarse. To the fifth, Rome pro- 
longs her various tasks. The sixth hour is rest for the tired ; the 
seventh will be its end. The eighth to the ninth suffices for the 
sleek gymnasium. The ninth sends the diner to crush the high 
mattresses. The tenth, Euphemus, is the right hour for my little 
books, when your care watches over the ambrosial feast, and good 
Caesar relaxes with heavenly nectar as he holds the sparing goblet 
in his mighty hand. At that time admit my trifles ; my Thalia 
fears with bold step to approach Jove in the morning hours." 




It is not easy to translate the hours of Martial precisely 
into modern equivalents, but he seems to divide the day in 
this manner : (1) During the hours ending at 7 and 8, the 
clients call to pay their respects and receive the dole, with 
orders for the day ; (2) at 9, the business of the courts is 
under way ; (3) the general business of the city goes on up to 

The garden-like enclosure may go back to Doxnitian, the patron of Martial. 

the 11 o'clock hour and through it ; (4) at 12 coroes the noon 
hour, with lunch and siesta, and the one o'clock hour ends it, 
or, perhaps, serves to wind up the day's business ; (5) the 
two o'clock and three o'clock hours are for exercise and bath ; 
(6) the three o'clock hour brings the time for dining out. 

As Martial's purpose in this epigram is not the accurate 
analysis of a day but an exhortation to Euphemus to choose 
the most favorable hour at which to hand the poet's verses 


to the Emperor, it is not surprising that the divisions of the 
day are not distinct, and that its activities are not given in 
great detail. What he says in substance is : "The Emperor 
and the important people of the city are occupied until noon 
with the reception of clients, court duties, and other affairs. 
At the noon hour they are tired and want to rest. After that, 
they are finishing the day's business and doing their daily 
exercise and dressing for dinner. Nobody would be in the 
mood to hear verses at any of these hours. Wait until the 
Emperor and his friends are through with the day's affairs 
and sitting over their wine, and then present my book." The 
day here described is the day of the emperor, the high official, 
the aristocrat, the rich professional, and the commercial 

The day of the middle-class man and of the lower classes 
exclusive of clients would have differed from that of the 
upper class in more than one respect. The early morning 
reception of clients played no part in it, and work took its 
place. Dining out was less frequent. With all the lower 
class, and with most of the middle class, the labors of the day 
did not cease with the seventh hour, but continued after the 
siesta until the setting of the sun. 

The day of an average household of the middle class may 
be imagined somewhat as follows. It began at the rising 
of the sun, with slaves or servants already cleaning the 
floors. After a very light breakfast, which each took as was 
convenient, the children were accompanied to school, the 
master of the house went off to shop, office, or forum until 
noon, and the mistress directed or performed the tasks of the 
house, among them being a visit to the market for the day's 
provisions. At noon there was a light lunch at table in 
atrium, dining room, or peristyle, followed by quiet for an 
hour or two. The business or work of the afternoon was 



then resumed. At the proper hour the mistress or a servant 
went after the children and brought them home. A walk to 
the park, or a shopping expedition, or fancy work in the 
house occupied another hour, after which the remainder of 
the day was given to preparations in kitchen and dining 



The tiled roofing is a restoration, and the shrubbery is a reproduction of tfia 
ancient. Medallion-like ornaments are suspended in the porticoes. The houdo is 
named from little medallions of Cupids in gold foil found in the first room on the right 

room for dinner, private or with guests. The children were 
put to bed early, and the father perhaps went out for a social 
hour at a wineshop. At the end of the evening, the street 
door was locked and barred, the little lamps that rested on 
the candelabra were taken up to light the way to bed, and the 
atrium left in darkness. 


This is the barest account of the Roman day, for our 
purpose up to this point is to realize only the general charac- 
ter of Roman daily life. In later chapters, we shall con- 
sider in greater detail the various occupations that made up 
the total of the city's work, and study also the diversions 
that were so large a part of its life. Let it be enough now to 
say that the work of the Roman citizenry was manifold, and 
that the round of the month and year was varied and light- 
ened by many amusements the play, the races, the 
swordsmen in the arena, the animal hunt, the juggler and 
mountebank in the street and parks, the Campus Martius 
and its games, the Tiber and its boating and swimming, 
the simple and natural amusements of the house, including 
the dinner itself, which occupied a larger place in ancient 
times than it does to-day. 

It will bring the general character of the day into clearer 
relief if we employ again the method of contrast. There are 
several respects in which the Romans differed sharply from us. 

First, their keeping of time was less precise than ours. 
So far as we can tell, there was no mechanical device for the 
keeping of time available to the public until 263 B.C., when 
a sundial was brought to Rome from Sicily, and with it the 
day of twelve equal parts as hours. There is mention of one 
thirty years before this, but it was at the Temple of Quirinus 
and probably not of general service. Up to the year 263 B.C., 
the measuring of time and the keeping of appointments 
must have depended upon the position of sun and moon, the 
casting of shadows, and perhaps other means unknown to us. 
Sunrise, sunset, and noon were the only certain points in the 
day. The amount of inconvenience and waste that had to be 
endured may easily be imagined. If the day was overcast, 
the meeting of obligations depending upon time must have 
been very uncertain. 


The sundial itself is a very imperfect help. It is useless 
on cloudy days, it will not serve by night, it is not readily 
portable, it will function only in the latitude for which it was 
designed, and even there it is but a clumsy and inaccurate 
means. The sundial brought from Catina, now Catania, in 
Sicily, though not correct for Rome, was used for ninety-nine 
years before a second dial was made, in 164 B.C., to suit the 
Roman latitude. Both were still in place on pillars behind 
the Rostra in the time of Cicero. Strange as it seems to us, 
the division of the day into twelve hours was not practiced 
at Rome before the sundial was introduced. 

The sundial no doubt remained for some time compara- 
tively rare, the few that were to be consulted being stationed 
near the administrative buildings, and corresponding to our 
clock on the city hall. Cicero in the defense of Quinctius 
pleads that his client "has always lived roughly and without 
regard for looks; has been of a gloomy and retiring dis- 
position ; has not spent his time at the Sundial nor in the 
Campus, nor in dining out." 

A second step, and one of great importance, was the intro- 
duction to public use, in 159 B.C., of the water clock. This 
was a cylindrical container from which water was allowed 
to flow, and which was so graduated that the level of its 
contents, as they slowly fell, indicated the hour and even 
fractions of the hour. It might be of glass and transparent, 
or of metal, with the use of a cord and floating cork to regu- 
late an indicator which moved up the graduated line. The 
"winding" of such a clock consisted in filling it with water 
at sunrise or sunset or noon, when the time was certain; 
and its repairing consisted in the accurate regulation of the 
flow that drained it. Its great advantage over the sundial 
was that it functioned day and night, and on cloudy days 
as well as clear. 



Yet the water clock too was very imperfect compared with 
the clock of our times. Only on the March and September 
equinoxes are the days and nights of equal length, and the 

March 2O 

March 20 

3 rd HOUR 

6 th HOUR 
9 th HOUR 

12 th HOUR 

9 th HOUR 

!2* h HOUR 


Filled at sunrise on the dates indicated to the points where horizontal and vertical 
lines intersect, as the water lowered by dropping away the clock showed the 3rd, 
6th, 9th, and 12th hour of daylight, and by the use of additional horizontal lines 
could show other hours and fractions. By the addition of vertical lines it could be 
made to function on the other dates. By graduating the upper half it could be 
filled at sunset and become a 24-hour clock. Note that on March and September 
equinoxes the lines for day and night are of equal length, and that for every other 
day they are unequal. Their division into twelve parts consequently resulted in 
hours of equal length day and night only on the equinoxes. In summer months the 
twelve night hours were very short, and the twelve day hours very long. 

twelve divisions or hours of equal length by day and by 
night. On all other days the light and the dark are of 
unequal length, and consequently their twelve equal parts 


are variations from the equinoctial hours. The earliest 
sunrise in Roman latitude is at 4.27 in summer and the latest 
at 7.33 in winter, and the length of daylight varies from 15 
hours and 6 minutes on June 25 to 8 hours and 54 minutes on 
December 23 ; thus the hours vary from about 75 minutes 
in summer to 45 in winter. It is clear that if a water clock 
were made and operated for accuracy, it would have to be 
equipped with one graduated line for the two equinoxes, 
and with a separate line for every other day in the year, and 
that the amount of water supplied it would also vary. The 
water clock here described should not be confused with the 
water clock of the court and public assembly, which was 
a simple device like an hourglass used to limit the length of 
speeches and not to measure time as time. 

With the introduction of sundial and water clock, and the 
more accurate calculation of time, it may be imagined that 
there was a great increase in public and private efficiency. 
This is proved by the very fact that sundials at length came 
into universal use. They have been discovered in every part 
of the Roman Empire, even to its very borders at the Sahara 
and at the limit of the northern wilderness. They were used 
in the more pretentious houses as well as in public. The 
distribution of the water clock, which was less durable and 
has left fewer remains, was no doubt even more general in 
the home if not in public life. The makers of water clocks 
were a regular artisan class, and their product continued in 
use far into the Middle Ages. 

Universal as were the clock and dial, however, they were 
mostly stationary and always inconvenient. There were 
many who never troubled with them except as they were 
compelled by the law, which in some transactions involving 
time, as the use of water by the hour in irrigation, pre- 
scribed their use. Such persons went on in ordinary life 


regulating their movements by the use of sunrise ; mane, or 
the first two hours; ad meridiem, or forenoon; noon; de 
meridie, or afternoon ; suprema, or late afternoon up to sun- 
set ; and other more or less vague terms. In earlier times 
there were no doubt many who prided themselves on doing 
without the innovation, and others who half in earnest cursed 
the day it came to Rome with its bothersome precision. 

Says a parasite in one of . the comedy fragments of Cicero's 

"May the gods destroy the man that first discovered hours, yes, 
and the man that first set up the sundial here, and took the day 
apart and smashed it for miserable me into little pieces. In the 
old days when I was a boy, a man's stomach was his sundial, and 
by a long way the best and truest of all your timepieces ; at any 
time you felt that way, it told you to eat, except when there 
was nothing. Now, even when there is something, you don't eat 
unless the sun agrees to it. Yes, sir, the town these days is filled 
full of sundials, and most of the people in it are dragging around 
dried up with hunger." 

The Roman day was thus very different from our own in 
the manner of its keeping time. It is hardly possible that 
this does not connote a great difference in the speed as well 
as the precision of doing business, and in the general tone of 
the city's life during the daylight hours. One would hardly 
have found the rapid nervous movement on the street or 
in the office that is the case to-day in America, or even 
in southern Europe. If besides we remember the Italian 
warmth of a great part of the year, we must imagine ancient 
Rome, even at its busiest, as leisurely and calm compared 
with the modern city. On summer noondays, indeed, the 
streets were almost silent and deserted. 

A second difference between the Roman and the modern 
was the habit of early rising and early retiring. This was 
due entirely in the beginning, and indeed in great part i 


later times, to nature. By nightfall the early Roman, both 
in city and country, was tired out by the physical work of 
long daylight hours. Li addition, his house had the rudest 
facilities for lighting, and there was little incentive for him 
to make the evening long. The later Roman, in the more 
purely urban life of Republic and Empire, was still without 
the brilliant street illumination and the convenient house 
lighting that have made the modern city more lively by 
night than by day, and the modern home attractive for both 
work and play far into the night. For those who have lived 
a fireless winter season in modern Rome, it need not be 
argued that the dampness and chill of the airy Roman house 
on the evenings of the colder months encouraged an early 
going to bed. 

A third difference was due likewise to the lack of light. 
The public amusements of the city theater, amphitheater, 
races were all daytime shows. The Roman consequently 
did not feel so strongly the urge to spend the evening out. 
The most common of evening diversions, and about the only 
one of which we are conscious in Roman literature, was the 
dinner, and this was prolonged and frequent only in the life 
of high society. 

On the whole, the Roman day seems to have differed from 
the day in our own large cities in six respects : (1) in its lack 
of precision in the keeping of time ; (2) in the closer cor- 
respondence of its waking hours with the daylight and its 
sleeping hours with the dark; (3) in its longer midday 
interval of rest ; (4) in its poorer lighting of street and house 
at night ; (5) in the use of the daylight hours for amuse- 
ments; (6) in the prominence of dinner as the evening 
diversion, and the lack of other night attractions. 

It will be noticed that these differences depend chiefly 
upon the presence of a wanner climate and the absence of gafl 


and electric illumination, and only in minor degree on 
differences in character and ideas. The life of Rome was no 
doubt busy and crowded and noisy enough, and had its 
artificialities in plenty ; but it was much more in harmony 
with nature than the life to which the increase of the world's 
population, with residence in colder climates and with 
modern inventions, has condemned the great capitals of 



Our study of Rome and the Romans began with a visit to 
modern Italy and its capital. We found the Italian land- 
scape unchanged and the city of Rome still sitting on the 
Seven Hills, with gigantic remnants of the ancient city rising 
in the midst of the modern. We went back to geological 
times, when vomiting volcano and surging sea and the 
mightily running river created the plain of Latium and 
fashioned it for habitation. We saw the first men settle by 
the Tiber, and traced the growth and changes of the city on 
its banks down through the ages and on to modern times. 
We saw how the Roman State grew strong and expanded 
from the Monarchy in Latium into the Republic that spread 
over Italy and about the Mediterranean, and into the 
Empire that made the Mediterranean a Roman lake and 
ruled the Western world. We saw how after the fall of the 
Roman Empire the sway of Rome continued in language, 
in literature, in the arts, in law, in religion, in morality ; so 
that the civilization of to-day is still the civilization of 
ancient Rome. 

This was our setting for the Roman himself. Upon this 
stage and against this background of modern and ancient 
Italy and Rome and their importance in the affairs of the 
world to-day we placed the ancient Roman in person. We 
reconstructed the city of his time ; saw how he was dressed 
and how he carried himself, and what the society was in 
which he moved ; entered the house in which he lived ; wit- 
nessed his rearing from babyhood, and his training up to the 
time of his entrance into manhood and the work of his world ; 



were introduced to his mother, sister, wife, and daughter, 
and were made to realize the splendid contributions of the 
Roman woman to her own and after times ; saw what he ate 
and drank, and took part with him in the life of his home ; 
and followed him in the round of the day from dawn to the 
setting of the sun. In all this, our purpose was to see the 
Roman as an individual figure. 

We have thus completed the stage setting and introduced 
the principal one of the dramatis personae. In plainer 
words, we have made ourselves acquainted with the general 
appearance and general character of Rome and the Romans, 
and are now prepared for the special study of Roman life. 

It will therefore be our purpose, in the chapters of the 
present section of our study, to follow the Roman of the 
upper classes in his career as the servant of the State y as 
the professional man, and to follow the common man to his 
daily work in the many skilled and unskilled occupations by 
which he gained his livelihood ; not forgetting the country 
and its life, so long at the base of the virtue and strength of 
earlier Rome. Having thus reviewed the careers of high 
and low, we shall try to give them color and vividness by 
telling the stories of representative Roman lives. In order 
the better to understand the meaning of life to the Roman, 
we shall make the much more difficult attempt to enter into 
his religious consciousness and to share his interpretations of 
the human lot. His diversions also will contribute to the 
appreciation of his inner being : the theater, the circus, the 
amphitheater, the baths, and the unorganized and simpler 
pastimes with which he garnished his existence. We shall 
find that he was a lively person and enjoyed the comic 
aspects of his environment. We shall note the follies and 
excesses that made him the target of bitterest satire on the 
part of his fellows. We shall not omit his excesses and 


crimes and the part they played. We shall see him on his 
last bed of sickness, and follow in the train that conducts the 
mortal remnant to its last resting place. 

The sum of these studies wiii be the collective life of the 
sity. Their result will be an appreciation of the human 
qualities of Living Rome. 



The great career in Rome was the career of the public 
man. It was the service of the State in the highest and most 
expert duties of the citizen. In its usual form it meant a 
period of some ten years in military service and lesser civil 
offices, and then the offices of quaestor, aedile, praetor, and 
consul. The consulship was the shining goal of Roman 
ambition. By the time the citizen reached it, he was forty- 
three at least, and a man much tested in the ways of the 

The Roman career with its long, varied, and comprehensive 
experience was evolutionary, and thus the product of nature. 
The first form of the Roman State was tribal, and its chief 
was legislator, executive, judge, and priest all in one and 
might have said with greater right than the modern monarch, 
L'6tat 9 c'est moi the State, it is I ! With the growth of 
numbers, however, came the increase of duties and the 
sharing and delegation of their execution. The chief or 
king could not continue to be a specialist in every activity 
of the State. The council of fathers who advised him soon 
became the Senate that helped him make the laws. He had 
the prefect of the city to take his place during absences, 
the quaestors and duumvirs to arrest and try the criminal, 
and the tribune to command his cavalry- When the Re- 
public took the place of the Monarchy, the powers originally 
in the king alone were still more widely distributed. There* 
were the Senate and assemblies to create the laws, the con- 



,?uls bo act as judges and executives and to serve as leaders 
of the people and the army, the quaestors to attend to the 
city and State finances, and the dictator to give unity to 
effort in times of stress. Later, as the State's affairs became 
more complicated, the tribune was added to safeguard the 
common people's rights, the censor to act as corrector of 
public acts and morals, the praetor to conduct the courts, 
and the aedile to supervise the city's public functions and 

The one-man State had thus evolved into the complex 
State with many offices. The Roman career, including as it 
did these offices, was the product of evolution quite as much 
as the Roman State. 

The Roman who ran this career may himself be called a 
natural product. Each one of the offices of which the career 
consisted called for special abilities and was a special experi- 
ence ; the public man might, and frequently did, in his climb 
to the topmost round of the ladder, hold aU of them ; and it 
is easy to see that they conferred as well as required an 
unusual equipment of character and capacity. 

But the Roman career was not created by nature alone. 
It was encouraged also by law. The succession of the 
offices which naturally led to the highest honor and useful- 
ness in the State came in the course of time to be so customary 
that at last it was formalized. The Lex Villia Annalis of the 
year 180 B.C., named from its author Lucius Villius the 
tribune, provided that the offices usually held and the order 
in which they were usually held should thenceforth be the 
rule as well as the practice. From that date, chiefly as a 
result of the law but also in obedience to custom quite as 
strong as law, a definite order in the round of offices possible 
in the public career was established. By the end of the 
Republic, this round or succession of offices had so developed 



as to include the following possibilities: tribune of the 
soldiers, member of the board of twenty-six, quaestor, 
tribune of the people, curule or plebeian aedile, censor, 
master of the cavalry, praetor, interrex, consul, censor, 

dictator ; but it must not be 
supposed that anyone man's 
career comprised them all, or 
that this order never varied. 
As the dictator, the mas- 
ter of the cavalry, and the 
interrex were emergency 
offices, and the plebeian 
aedile and the tribune of 
the people were chosen ex- 
clusively from the plebs, 
and as the censorship was 
of little or no importance in 
the last century of the Re- 
public, the round of offices, 
or legal cursus honorum, 
may be simplified to in- 
clude the tribune of the 
soldiers, the board of 
twenty-six, the quaestor, 
the curule aedile, the prae- 
tor, and the consul. It is 
doubtful whether even the first two of these were obligatory 
before Augustus ; at any rate Cicero, so far as we know, be- 
gan the career with the quaestorship. In the year 81 B.C., 
additional legislation by Sulla had the effect of confirming an 
age limit, so that the quaestorship was not held before the 
age of thirty-one, the praetorship not before forty, and the 
consulship not before forty-three. Further, this legislation 

He has a roll or book in the left hand. 


provided that between the successive offices two years should 
elapse, and that between two holdings of the same office 
ten years must intervene. The variations from this prac- 
tice in the time of the Empire need not detain us at this 

Let us now consider one by one the duties of the various 
offices in the cursus honorum. This will not only help us to 
appreciate the Roman career in its meaning to the Roman, 
but will indirectly describe the constitution of the Roman 

First, the military tribunate. The requirement of service 
as officer in the army meant, of course, a period of at least 
several years in the military service, and was an expression of 
the Roman belief in soldierly capacity as a necessary quali- 
fication for the public man. At first appointed by the 
consuls, after 362 B.C. the tribunimilitum were elected by the 
people, but their duties, which were purely military, remained 
the same. From 207 B.C., their number for some time was 
twenty-four, which provided six each for the four legions 
then constituting the levy. When more were needed, they 
were appointed by the consuls, who were the commanding 
officers and had the right. By the time of Cicero, the require- 
ment of the military tribunate became simply ten years' 
service in the field or ten years' readiness to answer to the 
call, and it was possible to qualify with no actual service and 
with little training. 

Second, the commission of twenty-six. The necessary 
qualification here was the holding for one year of one office 
from among a group of six. These six offices were places on 
six boards or commissions whose total membership amounted 
to twenty-six. They were: (1) the police commission of 
three for the arrest, trial, and punishment of criminals; 
(2) the commission of ten for the judgment of certain cases ; 


(3) the commission of four in charge of the courts in Capua, 
Cumae, and other towns; (4) the commission of three in 
charge of the mint ; (5) the commission of four for the clean- 
ing of the streets inside the city ; (6) the commission of two 
for the cleaning of streets outside the city. These officers 
were all elected by the people. They might precede or 
follow the office of tribune in the cursus honorum. Augustus 
abolished the third and sixth groups, consolidated the others 
into a single body, and made the office the required first step 
in the cursus honorum. 

Third, the quaestorship. The duties of this office were 
mainly the receipt and disbursement of the State's moneys, 
the care of the public records, and the oversight of details in 
the State's contracts. Besides the urban quaestors who had 
these duties, there were the military and provincial quaes- 
tors, who acted as quartermasters and paymasters, and the 
Italian quaestors, whose duties were performed at certain 
centers in Italy, one having charge of the grain supply at 
Ostia. The number of these officers increased from four in 
421 B.C. to forty in 45 B.C. From the year 81 B.C., the date 
of Sulla's reform, they were entitled at the end of their 
tenure to a seat in the Senate. Cicero in 74 B.C. was there- 
fore one of twenty new senators. As the number of ad- 
ditions each year was large enough to keep the Senate full, it 
was a body composed entirely of ex-magistrates. 

Fourth, the curule aedileship. The curule or patrician 
aedileship was established in 366 B.C. to balance the plebeian 
aedileship which had existed from the early years of the 
Republic. Both were boards of two, and had similar duties 
the superintendence of public places and buildings, such 
as the streets, baths, and temples; the care of the grain 
supply, with inspection of measures, weights, and foods, 
and fixing of prices ; and the oversight of the games. The 


making sacrifices in the name of the State, and taking 
auspices. Away from Rome, the consuls were commanders- 
in-chief in case of war, and, unless employed in different 
fields, commanded each one day at a time. After 80 B.C., 
their commands were limited to Italy. They represented 
the State in treaties and other business, and received and 
presented foreign envoys to the Senate. They were some- 
times given absolute power for the time being by decree of 
the Senate suspending the ordinary rights of the citizens. 
At the end of their tenure they became provincial governors. 

Such was the round of public service through which the 
successful Roman usually went. Most of the offices in it 
were voted by the people in elections held by the comitia 
centuriata, the assembly by centuries; that is, the three 
hundred and seventy-three groups in which the voters were 
enrolled, each group casting one vote for its entire member- 
ship. Elections were held in an inclosure in the Campus 
Martius, and the voter wrote the name of his candidate and 
cast the ballot in secret. 

As we have seen, there were other offices also open to the 
public man. In the first place, if he was of the plebeian 
class, he could be chosen one of the ten tribunes of the people. 
This office was created early in the Republic for the pro- 
tection of the individual citizen, especially the plebeian, 
from the injustice of the patrician magistrate and the upper 
class in general. The tribune could block the action of any 
magistrate at any time by simply interposing his veto, could 
punish even with death a disobedient magistrate, and was 
free from arrest or punishment. This sacrosanctity of 
person and right of intercession gave him the most extraor- 
dinary power of obstructing Government measures, and 
made of the tribunate a storm center of Roman civic life. 

Again, whether plebeian or patrician, the Roman in the 


public career was eligible to the censorship, and so might be 
commissioned with the assessment of property, the super- 
vision of the State's finances, and the revision of the Senate's 
membership. The censorship in its best days was a powerful 
restraint upon civic morals, but with the growth of the State 
in numbers and complexity was unable to maintain the con- 
trol it exercised in earlier and simpler days. 

Finally, in times of emergency the Roman career might 
include the offices of interrex, dictator, and master of the 
cavalry. The interrex was a senator appointed for five days 
when the State, on account of death or other cause, was left, 
without consuls. His chief duty was to hold the elections 
for new consuls. In case no choice was made in the five 
days of his term, he appointed a second interrex. The 
dictator was appointed by the consuls, first authorized by 
popular vote, for a maximum of six months. The dictator V 
powers were absolute. The master of the cavalry was ap 
pointed by him as second in command. Both these essen 
tially military offices had ceased to be customary after the 
Second Punic War, and were little employed until Caesar's 

There were other offices to which the Roman might be 
called in his career that of envoy, Ugatus, for example, or 
judge on some commission for drafting laws or trying cases* 
The mention of every possibility would involve us in too 
much detail. Let us rather try to appreciate the career in 
its total character. 

The Roman career is paralleled in some respects by the 
national career in our American life. The American who 
aspires to the highest office in the land is usually a practi- 
tioner of law, and as a rule moves toward the goal of liis 
ambition by a fairly definite path. He begins with training 
in the law school or law office, and looks for distinction first 


In local affairs. He may be elected to municipal office as 
attorney or judge or mayor, or to county office as district 
attorney, or to a place in the State legislature as member of 
the Assembly or senator. He develops a skill in public 
address and in otherwise winning the good will of men. 
After service in the legislature, he is elected member of 
Congress ; after that, perhaps governor. From the gover- 
norship, he is likely to be elevated to the national Senate ; 
and the natural ambition of the senator is the presidency of 
the United States. This is one line of advancement. An- 
other line, more purely legal, and with a different goal, is 
from the lawyer's office to the place of municipal, county, 
or State's attorney, from one of these to the bench as mu- 
nicipal or circuit judge, from this to the supreme court of 
the State, and from the State to the national supreme court. 
The American and the Roman careers, however, are far 
from being identical. The Roman State was a city-state, 
and the public men of the Roman Republic were the rulers 
of a city which was the ruler of a world. They were not sent 
from elsewhere to Rome as a convenient meeting place, as 
our public men are sent to Washington, to remain there for 
a period of two or six years in representing the voters who 
elected them, and then to return to privacy or the conduct of 
local affairs ; but were born and bred in Rome or its neigh- 
borhood, were reared in the shadow of the Senate, were 
educated with the State career never out of mind, and wit- 
nessed and felt the great moments of public excitement. 
They advanced by difficult steps in the midst of passionate 
competition, and were selected by blood and class and 
fortune as well as by native ability and the art of handling 
men. They received no salaries as such . When the highest 
distinction had been reached in the consulship, they did 
not retire, but went on to other service in the city or were 


employed abroad in the governing of provinces, and in 
either case remained for life members of the Senate. 

We must not think of the Roman career, however, as 
always exemplified by men of heroic figure. The Roman 
State was a democracy, the offices within its gitt were nearly 
all elective, and the game of politics intruded then as now 
in the dignified affairs of statesmanship. There were the 
intrigues and the corruptions of the election campaign. 
There were enmities between classes as bitter as any between 
capital and labor to-day. There was incompetence raised 
to high places by blood or wealth. There was ignorance 
placed in power by the votes of the multitude. There were 
the rich rewards of provincial offices to tempt the greedy. 
There was the strain upon the State and upon the public man 
of meeting the new conditions of expanding empire. There 
was the unwieldiness of a Senate of three hundred, and there 
were the dangers of the divided rule of consuls and the 
abused power of the tribunate. There was the impotence of 
the censorship before the rising flood of immorality and 
extravagance that came with conquest, wealth, and immi- 
gration. There was the drain of war and luxury on the best 
blood of Italy. There was the weakening and the breaking 
of the Constitution, and its reconstruction in the Empire. 
There was the change from the responsible citizenship that 
made the Roman Republic great in character to the auto- 
cratic rule that made the Roman Empire efficient. 

But we are concerned here with the Roman whose char- 
acter and achievement lay at the base of Roman greatness 
in the day of Cato, in the stress of the Punic Wars, and in the 
earlier days of Rome's advance to the leadership of Italy 
the Roman who rose above the faults of common humanity 
and the times, and ran with patience and success the race 
that was set before him from the toga of manhood to the 


Consulship of middle age and the wise counseling of later life. 
The man thus born and bred and honored was a highly 
developed product. He was lawyer, soldier, orator, justice, 
legislator, administrator, and member for life of a body of 
three hundred men all of whom were ex-magistrates like 
himself, and most of whom were his equals in native capacity 
and knowledge of the world. In the breadth of his education 
nnd the breadth of his experience, he was one of civilization's 
best specimens of the man. 



The Senate, according to Livy w &s the creation of Romu- 
lus. After many men from the neighboring peoples had cast 
in their lot with the growing State by the Tiber and the king 
fc began to be satisfied now so far as strength was concerned, 
he next provided for counsel to support that strength. He 
created a hundred senators, whether because that number 
was sufficient, or because there were only a hundred who 
could be created 'fathers.' At any rate they were called 
fathers from the distinction, and their descendants were 
called patricians." 

The view of Livy that the Senate owed its institution and 
the senators their appointment to the king is not the only 
view. There are those who think that the Senate came into 
being naturally and without the intervention of authority 
through the counselings together of the men at the heads of 
the families or clans making up the community ; and that 
it afterwards developed into the body called senatus whose 
membership consisted of one senex, or man of mature age anc 1 
wisdom, representing each clan, chosen perhaps by the king 
perhaps by the clan represented. 

Whatever its origin, and whatever its earliest number, the 
Senate came eventually to have a normal membership of 
three hundred, to be composed of elderly men of proved 
capabilities, and to command in so high a degree the respect 
and obedience of the people and their elected officials as to be 
practically identical with the State. This is true in spite oi 



the fact that the Senate, constitutionally, was never in its 
history other thai* an advisory council. Its decrees, sena- 
ius consulta, had the force of law only because the inherent 
authority of character had established an unbreakable 
tradition of obedience. 

(From "Julius Caesar") 

The Senate underwent many changes in the course of it", 
long existence. At first composed of only one hundred, or at 
least some not very large number, the enrollment was soon 
extended, perhaps in the time of the kings. At first entirely 
patrician, early in the Republic it admitted plebeian mem- 
bers, and we are told by Cicero that the Ovinian Law, toward 
the end of the fourth century, made eligible ex omni ordine 
optimum quemque, the best men from every class. At first 


chosen for eminent qualities without formal regard to the 
holding of office, as their number increased they were ap- 
pointed more and more because of conspicuous discharge of 
duty in a public capacity, until they became practically a 
body of higher ex-magistrates. By the time of Cicero's 
entrance into public life any citizen elected quaestor acquired 
by the act the right to a seat in the Senate at the end of his 
year of office, and held it for life unless disqualified at the 
revision of the roll called census. 

Among the effects of these extensions of eligibility was 
naturally the increase of membership. In Cicero's youth 
the number increased under Sulla from three to about four 
hundred, and under Caesar it rose to nine hundred, to be 
reduced by Augustus to six hundred. Another effect was 
the lowering of the age limit, which was reduced to about 
thirty years because the quaestorship conferring the seat 
was reached at about that age. In Imperial times the limit 
became twenty-five. A third effect was that the patricians 
became fewer, both in reality and in proportion. Finally, 
the senatorial order arose, to form the wider aristocracy 
including not only patrician blood but plebeian blood that 
proved itself worthy by achievement in leadership. 

There were two ways by which the membership" of the 
Senate was lessened : by death and by action of the censors. 
There were three ways by which it was increased : by election 
of new magistrates, by regular action of the censors, and by 
special action of the dictator, The increases under Sulla 
and Caesar were dictatorial in character, and actuated by 
political interest. An addition to the roll by appointment- 
was called adlectio. 

From the institution of the censorship, about 443 B.C., 
the revision of the Senate roll occiirred regularly once every 
lustrum, or five years. This was only one of the censorial 



duties, but it was one of the most important. The pro- 
cedure of the censors in making the revision was : (1) the 
election of the princeps senate for the next lustrum, up to 
209 B.C. the oldest ex-censor, but later any ex-censor ; (2) the 
striking out of the names of the deceased, the disqualified, 
ind the unfit, including the 
legally or morally delin- 
quent ; (3) the filling of the 
vacancies, in earlier times 
by selection from the lists 
of former dictators, censors, 
consuls, praetors, aediles, 
and quaestors, in later times 
by enrolling newly elected 
quaestors ; (4) the listing of 
members in these categories, 
from Sulla on, each accord- 
ing to official seniority, so 
that for "asking opinions' 7 
in Senate meetings there 
was a definite roll and a 
definite order of preced- 
ence; (5) the reading of the 
new list from the Rostra, 
or, under the Empire, its 

As the offices through 

which the senatorial seat at various periods was approached 
were won by popular election, the Senate may be said to 
have represented the choice of the people. The citizens 
voting for Cicero as quaestor, for example, were conscious 
that his election would carry with it after his year of service 
a lifelong seat in the Senate. * 


This is the Senate House built about A.D. 
300, later converted into the Church of 
Saint Hadrian. When the Forum level 
had been raised by the debris of the ruined 
city, the church floor was raised and a 
new door built. The dark niches in the 
lower part of the facade contained the 
bones of monks interred in mediaeval 


When the senator came to take his seat, he had the right 
to the lotus claws, or broad purple stripe woven into the 
tunic from the neck downward to the bottom, to the red 
sandal with its peculiar buckle and straps, and to a reserved 
place ,at public entertainments. On the other hand, he was 
forbidden to engage in ordinary trade or to have Govern- 
ment contracts. His entrance into the ordo senatorius, 
unlike the rise to the equestrian rank, was not conditioned 
in the Republic upon financial standing ; though Augustus 
inaugurated a senatorial property qualification of a million 
sesterces, about $50,000, contributing the sum in case the 
appointee did not possess it. 

The meetings of the Senate, as befitted an advisory body, 
were at call, usually on the Calends or Ides unless the comitia 
were being held, and normally in the Curia Hostilia at the 
northwest corner of the Forum. The exception to this was 
in the month of February, when daily meetings were pre- 
scribed by law. The presiding officer and the issuer of the 
call in Ciceronian times was regularly one of the consuls. In 
a seat facing the door of entrance and also the assembly of 
senators, who seem not to have been assigned special places, 
after he had opened the session with sacrifice and inspection 
of the victim, the consul proceeded to the business for which 
the call had been issued, and which had been stated in the 
call ; though he might previously make announcement of any 
appropriate news or communications received. The relatio, 
or presentation of the business, having been finished, he 
awaited the pleasure of the Senate. 

In order to ascertain the Senate's wishes and bring them 
to the desired conclusion in a decree, the presiding officer 
began with the princeps senatus, at the head of the list, and 
addressed to him the formula, "Die, M. TulK, quid censes 
Speak, Marcus Tullius, what is your opinion?" continuing 


seasoned age, of capacity tried and proved by experience, 
and with lifelong tenure ; called upon to meet the emergen- 
cies of a constantly expanding State and a constantly chang- 
ing society /in its best days the great council was rich in 
the wisdom which was the product of earnest and capable 
living, made cumulative by the consistency and continuity 
and permanence of its character. When Livy declares of it 
that "he who said it was composed of kings had the true 
impression of its appearance," he describes the dignified and 
grave exterior which was the fit expression of that character!] 
Nor need we think that the ideal thus described has nothing 
to do with the times of Cicero. Whatever the failings of the 
Senate in its later day, its greatest orator himself and many 
of the senatorial friends who stood with him were the 
worthy successors, whether in capacity or in character, of 
the Catos and the Curii and the Decii by whom they never 
ceased to be inspired. 


Cicero was a member of the Senate from 74 B.C., the year 
after his quaestorship in Sicily, to his death in 43 B.C., a 
period of thirty-one years beginning with the end of his 
thirty-second, when the conclusion of his quaestorial duties 
entitled him to a seat in the great deliberative council. 
Though the senatorship was not directly an elective office, 
it was due to the votes of the people who had made him 
quaestor. It will therefore be of interest to study the elec- 
tion methods of ancient Rome. 

The voters' assembly at which Cicero's election to the 
quaestorship took place was the comitia tributa, the assembly 
of the 35 tribes. There were two other popular assemblies, 
the comitia curiata, the assembly of the original 30 curiae or 
divisions of the patricians, which had ceased to have any 
great importance, and the comitia centuriata, the assembly of 
373 centuriae, divisions originally meaning a hundred men 
but later merely the number made convenient by the total 
roll of citizens entitled to vote. Both the comitia tributa 
and the comitia centuriata had certain law-making and 
court powers as well as the electoral function. Their 
difference in electoral jurisdiction lay in the fact that the 
centuriate assembly elected the consuls, praetors, and other 
major magistrates, and the tribal assembly the plebeian 
aediles, the quaestors, the commissioners of the mint, the 
street superintendents, and the many other minor office- 




The election procedure at both assemblies was much the 
same. First, the consuls and Senate determined beforehand 
the date on one of the hundred and ninety days not forbidden 
by religious provision, and within a fixed period in the sum- 
mer. Next, at least seventeen days before the election, 
a herald proclaimed the coming event, which was to take 


The time is before 46 B.C., in which year Julius Caesar's basilica re- 
placed the Tabernae Veteres and the Basilica Sempronia. The shops, 
tabernae, on both sides show how ordinary trade filled the Forum in ear- 
lier times. 

place early in the morning, usually in the Campus Martius. 
Thirdly, if the auspices taken before dawn on the day 
appointed were favorable, criers and trumpeters gave the 
final call to assemble, and the voters came together and 
grouped themselves by tribes or centuries as the case re- 
quired, each body taking its position in the proper section of 
the voting inclosures called the Saepta. The Saepta Julia, 
planned by Julius Caesar for the centuriate assembly and 


erected by Augustus, was meant by the Dictator to be a 
marble inclosure surrounded by a mile of portico, and was 
probably so constructed. A voting precinct called the 
Ovile, or sheep-pen, preceded it. The comitia tributa met in 
the Forum. Fourthly, after the religious preliminary con- 
sisting of a sacrifice, the presiding officer, normally the con- 
sul or other magistrate who had issued the election call, read 
to the voters the list of candidates. In Cicero's time, the 
number of quaestors to be elected was twenty, which 
Caesar was to increase to forty. 

The next step in the process was the casting of the vote. 
This was done in the tribal assembly by each of the thirty- 
five tribes as a unit, and in the centuriate assembly by each 
century as a unit. In either case the division determined 
its vote by ballot in the section assigned it in the Saepta, 
each voter writing or pricking on a blank tablet the name of 
his choice and depositing it in the tista, or urn, under the eye 
of the election official. When the vote of one tribe, chosen 
by lot to be the first, had thus been determined and had been 
declared, the remaining tribes went through the same 
process all at the same time, and the results were announced 
in an order determined by lot. The number of voters 
present in each tribe depended upon the interest of the 
individual and, in the case of the citizen living in a distant 
part of Italy, upon his willingness to sacrifice time and money 
in a journey to the capital. 

The election of Cicero to the consulship, which occurred 
in July twelve years after his elevation to the quaestorship, 
took place at the comitia centuriata in the Campus Martius. 
At this election the voters were grouped by centuries in the 
smallest inclosures of the Ovile or Saepta, one century was 
chosen by lot to cast as a unit the first vote, and the remain- 
ing centuries followed. As in the tribal assembly, the voters 

THE \OTER 177 

filed through a narrow passage, each leaving in the urn a 
tablet on which he had written or pricked his choice, to be 
taken out and counted by diribitores, the enumerators, who 
handed the result to the magistrate presiding. 

Cicero's campaign for the consulship began at least a year 
in advance. In July, 65 B.C., he is already writing Atticus 
concerning the prospects of his candidature. He names 
a half dozen possible competitors, one of whom is Catiline, 
and declares his intention of beginning to "lay hold of/ 1 
prensare, or canvass, on July 17, the date for the elections of 
that year. Catiline will be in the race, he says humorously, 
if the sun does not give light at noonday, referring to the fact 
that Catiline was facing trial for extortion and was sure to 
be convicted and therefore disqualified from running. 

The game of politics in the days of Cicero was much the 
same as it is in our own. The words prensatio, laying hold 
of or soliciting, and ambitio, going about, are themselves 
indicative of the manner of running for office, but a much 
more eloquent testimony as to the art of getting votes is 
preserved for us in the Commentary on Running for Office, 
thought to have been addressed by Quintus Cicero to his 
brother Marcus early in the year 64 B.C. A few extracts 
from it will suffice to show how little the methods of the 
office-seeker change as the centuries pass. 

"Think what State you belong to, what office it is you are run- 
ning for, who you are. Let hardly a day pass without rehearsing 
to yourself as you go down to the Forum : 'I am a New Man ; it 
is the consulship I am aiming at ; this is Rome/ The newness of 
your name [a novus homo was a man not of patrician birth who had 
risen at least to the aedileship] you will counterbalance in largest 
part by your fame as an orator. That gift has always brought 
with it great consideration. A man considered fit to be the patron 
of ex-consuls cannot be regarded as unfit for the consulship. Since 
therefore you will have this reputation to begin with, and since 


whatever you are you owe to this, see that when you speak you 
come prepared for it as if in every case the matter at issue were 
your own ability. . . . 

"And so see to it that you make yourself solid with all the cen- 
turies by many various friendly connections In the first place, 
what anyone can sse, win over the senators and the equites and the 
active and influential men of all the other classes. There are a 
great many enterprising men in the city, and many freedmen of 
influence and energy in public life whom as far as possible through 
your own efforts and those of your mutual friends you must make 
your backers. Do your best; seek them cut, win them over, 
show that you are appreciative of their great f aver to you. In the 
next place, have regard to the city as a whole, to all the guilds, the 
precincts, the neighborhoods. If you can win over to your friend- 
ship the leaders of these groups ycu will easily get the support of 
all the rest through them. After this, see that you have all Italy 
in mind and memory, laid out and listed so that there will bo no 
city or colony or prefecture cr place in the whole country left by 
ycu without its assurance of the necessary support. Go through 
them thoroughly and search out the men in every locality ; get 
acquainted with them, solicit them, make them solid for you, see 
that in their own neighborhoods they canvass for you and become, 
so to speak, candidates in your behalf. They will want ycu as 
their friend if they see that their friendship is sought after by 
you. . . . 

"These remarks occurred to my mind concerning those two 
morning reflections which I spoke of when I said you must go down 
to the Forum every day rehearsing to yourself : ' I am a New Man ; 
it is the consulship I a. aiming at/ The third remains : 'this is 
Rome/ a city made up of the coming together of nations, a city of 
many traps, much trickery, and many vices of all kinds. You 
will have to put up with arrogance, with insult, with ill will, with 
haughtiness, with hatred and attack, on the part of many, many 
persons. I can see that it will require great good judgment and 
skill for one meeting with so much that is greatly offensive on the 
part of men of all sorts to avoid collision, to avoid scandal, to 
avoid secret attack, to be the one man accommodating himself to 
so great a variety of character, expression, and feeling. 

"Keep on therefore, I say it again and again, in the course you 



have begun. Excel in eloquence ; by this men at Rome are both 
held and won, and kept from attempts to hinder and to harm. 
And since our commonwealth is most especially vicious in this 
respect, namely that it is wont to allow bribery to make it forget 
worth and standing, see to it that in this you take good account 
of yourself ; that is, that you realize that you are one able to strike 
into your competitors the greatest fear of the risk of a prosecution. 
Let them understand that they are being observed and watched 
by you ; they will have a great fear not only of your diligence, and 
the authority and power of your eloquence, but surely also of the 
devotion of the equestrian order to you." 

Trials for ambitus, bribery, were frequent in Cicero's time ; 
his own defense of Murena was in such a case. A law 
against public solicitation of votes was passed as early as 
432 B.C. In 181 B.C., a law provided that those convicted 
of ambitus should be barred for ten years from running for 
office. Within Cicero's lifetime at least four laws against 
the offense were enacted. The parties to bribery, besides 
the candidate and the voter, were the interpres, who made the 
bargain, the sequester, who held the money, and the divisor, 
who delivered it. Other technical names in political matters 
are nomenclator, a slave or hireling who prompted the candi- 
date as to the names of the persons he canvassed or met; 
candidatusj so called from the white toga which signified 
to the public the candidate's ambition; petitor and com- 
petitor, also meaning candidates ; optimates and nobiles, the 
conservative or senatorial party, and populares, the popular 
or democratic party. 


The great Roman profession, as we have seen, was the 
career of public service. We have seen, too, that it em- 
braced a wide range of qualifications and called for the dis- 
charge of duties in many different fields. The Roman whose 
career culminated in the consulship and perhaps continued 
in the censorship was lawyer, soldier, parliamentarian, 
justice, legislator, administrator, and probably had also a 
special knowledge of religion as connected with affairs of 
the State. 

It is apparent that in antiquity as well as to-day the law- 
yer's calling was closely identified with the public career. 
The duties of the praetor in Rome could hardly be adminis- 
tered by one not bred in the law, though the office was less 
technical and more like that of a presiding officer than is the 
judge's office to-day. The duties of consul and of governor 
in the province were likewise best administered by those 
familiar with the law. 

The law in antiquity, however, was much more exclu- 
sively in the hands of public men than is the case to-day. 
The technical lawyer of the modern kind, or the specialist 
in a single field, could hardly be said to exist in Cicero's 
time. Of what we call the practice of law, outside the circle 
of public men who already held or were running for the 
offices of the Roman career, there is little evidence. The 
great scholars in the law up to Cioero's time, as well as the 
greatest figures in the Roman courts, were also men who 



actively conducted the State's affairs. Quintus Mucius 
Scaevola, author of special treatises on wills, contracts, 
etc., and one of the founders of legal science as it exists to- 
day, held all the offices in the cursus hononun, was prae- 
torian governor of a province in 98 B.C., consul in 95 B.C., 
and aii orator of repute. The Scaevolas were the leading 
family of their time in knowledge of the law, and most of 
their members were prominent in the public service. Servius 
Sulpicius, the friend of Cicero who wrote the beautiful letter 
of consolation after the death of Cicero's daughter Tullia, 
was the author of a special work on dowries and of two books 
on the praetorian edicts, and one of the deepest scholars 
of law, and yet had held all the offices in the cursus honorum, 
had been governor of Achaea, or Greece, and contracted 
his last illness while on an embassy from the State to Antony. 
Like the public career itself, the prominence of the Roman 
public man in the courts of law was the product of evolu- 
tion. When the Roman State was in its early days, the 
patricians were the governing class. They were the source 
of the law, its interpreters, and, through the king and his 
officials, its executors. The rights they exercised as the 
only citizens were accompanied by responsibilities to the 
gentes and noncitizen dependents who looked to them for 
protection. The powerful who made and knew the law 
were in humanity and honor bound to help the ignorant and 
weak. Even into historical times and down to the days of 
Cicero, when the exclusive rights of the patricians had long 
since been shared by the general body of citizens, the ideal 
responsibilities of the governing class to the commoner sur- 
vived. The law of Cincius, passed in 204 B.C., forbade the 
lawyer to accept a fee for his services. Nothing of course 
could prevent grateful clients rewarding their lawyers by 
political support, and there were no doubt many evasions of 


later, Sulla established special courts on acts partaking of 
the nature of treason, on forgery, on corrupt election prac- 
tices, and on the embezzlement of public moneys. Such 
courts, and the location of branch courts in Italy with repre- 
sentatives of the praetors at Rome to sit in judgment, made 
necessary the increase of the number of praetors, who in 
Sulla's time were eight, and in Augustus' reign were sixteen. 

Besides the praetors, or judges, there were the indices, 
the juries. The iudices were from the first a feature of the 
praetor's trials, and had originated long before the creation 
of the praetor's office. The establishment of the special 
courts naturally carried with it the providing of juries for 
them. In the case of the court on extortion, from the time 
of Gaius Gracchus the equites were privileged to form the 
jury. Sulla, recognizing the tendency of the equites to be 
severe with senatorial offenders and lenient with their own 
class, gave the seats on these juries to members of the Senate, 
who in their turn were lenient or severe according to sym- 
pathy- The law of Aurelius Gotta, in 70 B.C., attempted 
a juster arrangement by giving the jury rights to senatoi^ 
equites, and tribunes of the treasury. Thereafter, the juries 
were drawn from a list made up by the urban praetor, which 
Cicero tells us consisted of nine hundred citizens. The 
number is thought to be too low; the court on extortion 
alone had had a list of four hundred and fifty. The names 
were kept by the praetor in a book called the album. 

In the number of jurors chosen to act in various trials, 
there was great variation. Cicero's mention of the number 
ranges from 50 to 75. The method of empaneling or select- 
ing a jury also varied, but its general outlines may be seen 
in the provision of the Acilian law on extortion, 122 B.C., 
which specified that the prosecutor should choose from the 
album of 450 jurors 100 names, and that the defendant- 


should then strike out 50, leaving the remaining 50 to sit 
on the case. This is essentially the method of the modern 
jury court. 

A strikingly different method was employed by Pompey 
when he was sole consul and in charge of the political trials. 
In the trial of Milo, he summoned the entire 360 who were 
on the list of the court on assaults. The 360 heard the trial 
up to the last day, when 81 were chosen to hear the pleas 
of the opposing lawyers, and the remaining 279 discharged. 
Each side then challenged or struck off 15, leaving 51 to 
render the verdict. This was Pompey's way of preventing 
bribery ; the uncertainty as to the final composition of the 
jury would baffle the attempt to buy them up. 

The prosecuting lawyer was regularly the person who 
brought the charge. In some cases the magistrate himself 
had brought the charge and was both judge and prosecutor, 
Any citizen could bring suit, and many a citizen, like Cato, 
brought suits as a means of becoming prominent, as weD 
as from civic motives. The accused could conduct his own 
case or have ? patronus act for him, and there might be 
friends called in as advisers, the advocati, or advocates. 

The conduct of the Roman trial, like that of the modern 
trial, included the tes^mony of witnesses, the speeches 
of lawyers, and the cross-examination of witnesses, with 
great liberty permitted the lawyer in his questioning. The 
rules of evidence in general, in comparison with American 
and English procedure, were exceedingly lax. The familia* 
modern objection to an attorney's questions as "incom- 
petent, irrelevant, and immaterial," was wholly lacking. 
The modern rules excluding "facts irrelevant to the fact, 
in issue, as being connected with it only by resemblance," 
"hearsay," "opinion," and "character," had no parallel 
in the Roman court. The issue of a trial in Cicero's day 



seems to have depended almost as much upon the repu- 
tations of the parties as upon the facts deduced from tes- 
timony. All sorts of sensational appeals were allowed, 
including the going about of the accused in the toga of 
mourning and the presence of imploring relatives and 
friends at the trial. The evidence of slaves was taken 
under torture. 

The two great basilicas show how the law business centered in the Forum. 

At the end of the testimony of witnesses and the speeches 
of the lawyers, the jurors were asked individually whether 
or not they were ready to vote. Those who thought the 
court should adjourn and the case be further argued were 
then dismissed, providing they were not more than one third 
of the total, and the remaining two thirds, without a judge's 
charge and, so far as we can tell, without discussion or con- 
sultation, delivered the verdict by secret ballot. Each 
had received a two-sided wax tablet four inches square, on 


which was traced an A, for absolvo, "I acquit," and a C, 
for condemno, "I convict." This tablet, with one or the 
other letter erased, he dropped into an urn in full sight of 
the court, and in such manner that all might see the erasure 
but not the unerased letter, and thus know that he really 
voted. Finally, a juror chosen by lot extracted the tablets 
and read the letter on each one. A majority determined 
the verdict. 

This was the manner of the verdict as provided in the 
Acilian Law of 122 B.C., which governed the court on extor- 
tion, whose jurisdiction was over criminal eases. The man- 
ner of procedure in civil cases or in later times may have 
been modified, but it was in substance as above described 
when Cicero frequented the courts. 

Elsewhere we shall treat of the various kinds of offenders 
who appeared before the Roman courts, and of the penalties 
they had to suffer. It should be mentioned here, however, 
that a great difference between ancient Roman and modern 
American courts is to be seen in the matter of appeal. When 
the ancient party to a suit was convicted or otherwise lost 
his case, there was no such thing as another trial in a higher 
court ; when the case was adjudged, that was the end so far 
as the courts were concerned. 

This does not mean, however, that the losing party was 
always punished. There were methods of interference which 
were often effective in rescuing the accused from trial, or, 
if not from trial, from the execution of sentence after trial. 
In the first place, a higher magistrate could prohibit a mag- 
istrate of lower rank from proceeding with a trial. The 
dictator, consul, or tribune of the people could forbid the 
jurisdiction of the praetor. In the second place, there wae 
the veto power belonging to higher and to equal magistrates 
against the execution of sentence. This right of intercessio, 


intercession, might be exercised personally by the magis- 
trate after the accused had made an appeal in person. The 
officer most frequently exercising such power was the tribune 
of the people. It could be employed at any point in a trial 
or when the trial was over and the accused was facing the 
actual imposition of the penalty. 

The jury trials in the regular praetors' courts and in the 
permanent special courts were not the only trials in which 
the decision depended upon the votes of a body of citizens. 
The tribunes could and frequently did impeach generals 
and other public servants and call them to trial before the 
people met in the centuriate assembly. It was this kind 
of trial which resulted in Cicero's banishment in 58 B.C. 

We need next to imagine the place where the courts were 
held. The Roman climate was mild, and the Roman prac- 
tice allowed the spectator free access to trials. The busi- 
ness of the courts was for long in the open air in the Comi- 
tium, an area in front of the senate house, and in the Forum, 
on which the Comitium fronted. Here, sometimes large 
and permanent, sometimes smaller and temporary, and even 
portable, was the tribunal, a platform on which the praetor 
or other magistrate presiding took his seat in the curule 
chair denoting authority, while beside him and in front on 
seats or benches were his assistants and the jurors. The 
Tribunal Aurelium in the Forum is mentioned several times 
by Cicero. It was a permanent structure, and was ap- 
proached by steps. In front of the tribunal, standing or 
sitting, were the parties to the suit and their witnesses and 
friends, with patrons and advocates if they did not conduct 
their own case. Standing about in a semicircle were the 
spectators attracted by the case, who were called the corona, 
the crown, or garland. 

As time went on, great halls called basilicae occupied the 


borders of the Forum the Basilica Porcia, erected by 
Marcus Porcius Cato in 184 B.C., the Aemilia in 179 B.C., 
the Sempronia in 170 B.C., the Opimia about 121 B.C., the 
Julia in 46 B.C. These buildings usually consisted of a 
great central hall or auditorium, which could be divided 
into separate areas for use by several courts sitting at one 
time, surrounded by arcaded porticoes opening on to the 
Forum or street, so that entrance and egress were easy, and 
seeing and hearing from outside not impossible. 

At the left, the emperor addresses the citizens from the Rostra ; at the right, from 
a tribunal he extends an act of benevolence to some class represented by a in other 
and child. A fig tree and a statue of Marsyas which stood in the Forum are seen at 
the right, and the background shows the Aemilian Basilica, one of the great law 
buildings, on the north side of the Forum. 

Besides the open-air tribunals and the basilica, there 
were other places used on occasion for legal business. The 
fate of the accused in the conspiracy of Catiline was decided 
by the Senate at a meeting that chanced to be held in the 
Temple of Concord at the west end of the Forum. On the 
day of Caesar's death, he was listening to petitions in a part 
of the buildings connected with Pompey's Theater in the 
Campus Martius. Neither of these events, however, was a 
trial. The emperors had their private court rooms, usually 
in the palace. 

Some glimpses of actual court scenes are afforded by Pliny 
the Younger, a great admirer of Cicero who practiced law 


j.bout A.D. 100, in the reign of Trajan. The court before 
which he appears is the centumviral court, normally con- 
sisting of one hundred and five jurors, sitting in the Julian 
Basilica on civil cases involving property rights. 

" I had gone down to the Basilica Julia," Pliny writes, "to 
hear those to whom on the next sitting three days afterward 
E should have to answer. The jurors were in their seats, the 
decemvirs had come, the advocates were ranged face to face. A 
long silence, and finally a messenger from the praetor. The cen- 
tumvirs are dismissed, the day is left free ; to my joy, for I am 
never so well prepared that I am not glad of a postponement. 
The cause of the delay was the praetor Nepos. He had posted a 
short edict, giving notice to prosecutors and defendants that he 
was going to enforce the contents of the Senate's resolution. The 
resolution was attached to his edict : all persons having business 
with the court must take oath before beginning action, that they 
had not given, promised, or provided for any fee to any person on 
account of services as advocate. In these words and a thousand 
others, it was forbidden to buy or to sell such services. After cases 
were concluded, however, a money gift of ten thousand sesterces 
was to be allowed." 

Pliny calls the centumviral court his arena " especially 
in my arena, that is, before the centumviri." 

"Recently when I was to speak before the centumviri," he 
writes in another letter, "there was no way for me to get to my 
place except through the tribunal and the jury itself ; so great a 
crowd occupied every other space. More than, this, a certain 
distinguished young man who had got his tunics torn, as sometimes 
happens in a crowd, stood there covered by his toga only, and 
seven hours at that ; for I talked that long, with great effort and 
greater advantage." 

The centumviral court did not always consist of the orig- 
inal one hundred and five members; and it sat in some 
cases as a whole, and at other times was divided into four 
panels. " There were a hundred and eighty jurors sitting," 


writes Pliny of the case of Attia Viriola, a lady unjustly 
disinherited by an eighty-year-old father who had married 
a second time; "for the four panels combined amounted 
to that. There was a huge array of advocates on both sides, 
the public benches were crowded, and in addition to this a 
dense corona of bystanders extending around the vast court 
room in a circle which was many deep. More than this, 
the platform of the tribunal was packed, and even from the 
galleries of the basilica women as well as men were leaning 
over with a great anxiety to hear, which was difficult, and 
to see, which was easy." 

A court room scene not quite so suggestive of respecta- 
bility is presented by Cicero in the letter to Atticus which 
describes the trial of Clodius on the charge of having attended 
in disguise a religious meeting, exclusively for women, in 
61 B.C. 

" But if you want to know what the trial was like," he writes, 
**it had an outcome which is incredible. For, after the challenging 
was finished in the midst of the loudest clamoring because the 
prosecutor like an upright censor rejected all the worst characters 
and the defendant like a kindly trainer of gladiators removed all 
the reputable people as soon as the jurors were in their seats 
decent people began to have decided misgivings. There never was 
a more disgraceful lot sitting in a gambling resort senators with 
befouled names, knights without a cent, and tribunes of the doubt- 
ful sort. Yet there were a few honest people among them, those 
that he was unable to get rid of by his challenge ; and they sat 
there sad and sorrowful in company not of their own sort, feeling 
painfully their contact with baseness. . . . There wasn't a man 
who didn't think of Clodius as convicted a thousand times rather 
than merely accused. And when I was brought on as a witness 
and his supporters began to hoot, I think you have heard how the 
jury all rose together, how they gathered around me to offer their 
throats to him in defense of my life. . . . Nobody thought that 
Clodius would appear and answer. 'Tell me now, Muses, how 


then first fell the fire.' You know Calvus. ... In two days- 
with one slave, and an ex-gladiator at that, he fixed the whol& 
business. He called them to him, he promised, he gave security, 
he paid cash down. . . . Well, even with honest men all with- 
drawing and with the Forum full of slaves, there were still twenty- 
five jurymen brave enough in the face of the greatest risk to prefer 
death to letting everything go wrong ; and there were thirty-one 
who were moved more by hunger than by honor. Catulus saw 
one of them and asked him : 'Why did you ask us to give you a 
guard? Was it because you were afraid the money would be 
taken away from you?' There you have, as briefly as I can tell 
it, the kind of trial it was and the reason for the acquittal." 


When we speak of the learned professions to-day, it is 
usually with the lawyer, the teacher, the doctor, and the 
clergyman in mind. The same four existed in ancient Rome t 
and the differences between ancient and modern are of much 
the same character in all four. 

We have seen that the Roman lawyer up to the time ot 
Cicero was not a highly specialized product, but a man of 
experience and skill in practical public affairs, and that even 
those who went deeply into law and wrote scientific treatises 
on it were consuls and governors as well as praetors. Of the 
three other professions, it may be said that at least those 
of education and the priesthood were like the practice of 
law under the Republic in being closely connected with the 
duties of citizenship and in not being developed into spe- 
cialized and separate callings. The pontif ex, the flamen, and 
the augur were officers of the State like consuls and praetors, 
and in most cases had won their places in the religious serv- 
ice because of distinction in political or military life. The 
education of the Roman boy and girl through all the early 
period was of the scantiest and most practical kind and given 
by father or mother or some one in the house ; and in later 
times, when the teacher was so common that education, at 
least in the first stages, was within the reach of practically 
all citizens, a great part of it still was dependent upon 
the contact of the young with the practical affairs of theii 
fathers and mothers and with public affairs observed in 



company with them. The doctor's calling was more dis- 

The teacher in the lower schools of ancient Rome can 
hardly be called a person of standing. He was frequently 
a slave or the son of a slave, and at best an ill-paid citizen. 
We have pictures of him on the walls of Pompeii as he plies 
the switch in his open-air school under a public portico. 
Horace, as we have noticed, saw the little boys of Venusia 
on the way to their lessons with the teacher's pittance of 
eight coppers for the Ides in their book-bags, and made the 
name of one teacher, Orbilius, memorable by attaching to 
it the adjective plagosus, the wielder of the whip. He tells 
us also of the doctores blandi, the teachers who use cookies 
to make the children willing to learn their A-B-C's. Juvenal, 
a century later, speaks of "drawing back the hand under 
the ferule." No doubt there were many faithful and in- 
spiring teachers, and many people who appreciated the 
potential and the actual nobility of the calling, but on the 
whole the teacher in the primary schools was a humble if 
not a servile member of the community. When Horace 
eloquently describes the effect of poetry on the young, there 
is no suggestion of the teacher as the medium of that effect. 

The teacher in the grammar school was a person of greater 
consequence. His pupils were select and farther advanced, 
and he was no doubt frequently the master of a private 
school enjoying a reputation for character and effective- 
ness. It was to secure instruction of this type that Horace 
and Cicero were at an early age taken by their fathers to 
Rome; "that I might be taught the same things as any 
knight's or senator's son," Horace says. 

More fortunate still were the teachers of the select few 
who studied philosophy and rhetoric in preparation for the 
career of the public man. These were Greeks and Roman? 



of reputation, who were much sought out and well rewarded. 
At their best, they enjoyed a fame that extended throughout 
the Roman State. In Greek cities, above all in Athens, 
there were many of them, and Cicero in his sojourn in the 
East in 80-79 B.C. sought out the principal ones and studied 


Found in the Roman border fort at Newstead, near the River Tweed not far from 
Melrose in Scotland. The tablet, about 5i X 2J inches, is one of two wings which 
folded together and enclosed the writing on the wax. 

under them. With some of them he had already studied 
in Rome. Three of them mentioned by hi as being in 
Rome were Diodotus the Stoic, who lived many years in 
Cicero's own home and died there in 59 B.C. ; Philo the Aca- 
demic, who was a refugee from the Mithridatic War ; and 
Molo of Rhodes, an envoy to the capital. Philo and Molo 
both were teachers of Cicero at Rome in 88 B.C., when he 


was eighteen years old, and Molo again nine years later in 
Rhodes. Molo was also Caesar's teacher soon afterward. 
The well-known Archias was not so great a man, but from 
Cicero's words in his praise it is easily seen that Archias 
was a type of the capable educator in liberal arts. 

In spite of their ability and fame, however, the Greek 
teachers in higher education were more or less the humble 
objects of patronage on the part of wealthy and influential 
Romans. Not everyone believed in the training they repre- 
sented, and the great mass of the Roman people distrusted 
Greek culture and despised the Greek character. Few 
Roman teachers were able or cared to vie with them in their 
field. The persons from whom Cicero acquires his special 
knowledge and inspiration in Roman subjects are not pro- 
fessional Roman educators, but public orators and officials 
to whom he is attached in a sort of apprenticeship or whom 
he follows about and observes in their daily public achieve- 
ment : the two wise and learned Scaevolas, the finished and 
elegant Crassus, the unpolished but forceful Antonius. The 
only professional educator of note furnished by Rome was 

Marcus Fabius Quintilianus was a Spaniard from the 
banks of the river Ebro in Spain, born A.D. 35. He was 
sent to Rome for his education, returned at the agt of twenty 
to practice law and teach rhetoric in his native town of 
Calagurris, and went back at thirty-three to Rome, where, 
after about twenty years as teacher and lawyer, he wrote The 
Training of the Orator, a very sensible, solid, and high-minded 
work in twelve books, published about A.D. 95, when its 
author was sixty, Quinfcilian was the first appointee to 
the professorship in Latin rhetoric established by Vespasian 
when the already famous teacher and orator was about 
thirty-five. He was a great admirer of Cicero, and it is to 



be noted also that he was teacher and lawyer in one, and 
was thus another illustration of the union of public and 

professional life in 

Quintilian's ideal 
of education for the 
orator is a process 
beginning in the 
home, continuing in 
school and beyond 
school in life, and 
based on the broad- 
est general culture. 
A few short quota- 
tions will contribute 
to an understanding 
of both Quintilian 
himself and the 
^ -> ^ thoughts of his time 


The lady has folding tablets and a stylus ; Paquius, On education. We 
a roll-book or volumen. This is a wall-painting. are told that at this 

time a good teacher 

of oratory received about $100 per year from each pupil. 
A primary teacher had something like $3 from each pupil, 
and a grammaticus about $20. That there were wide differ- 
ences in masters and schools and methods, is easily seen from 
Quintilian's work. 


"I prefer that a boy should begin with Greek, because Latin, 
being in general use, will be picked up by him whether we will or 
no ; while the fact that Latin learning is derived from Greek is a 
further reason for his being first instructed in the latter. . . . The 


study of Latin ought therefore to follow at no great distance and 
in a short time proceed side by side with Greek. The result will be 
that, as soon as we begin to give equal attention to both languages, 
neither will prove a hindrance to the other." 


"Some hold that boys should not be taught to read till they are 
seven years old, that being the earliest age at which they can 

derive profit from instruction and endure the strain of learning 

Those, however, who hold that a child's mind should not be allowed 
to lie fallow for a moment are wiser. . . . Why should we despise 
the profit to be derived before the age of seven, small though it be? 
For though the knowledge absorbed in the previous years may be 
but little, yet the boy will be learning something more advanced 
during that year, in which he would otherwise have been occupied 
with something more elementary." 


" I am not, however, so blind to differences of age as to think 
that the very young should be forced on prematurely or given real 
work to do. Above all things we must take care that the child, 
who is not yet old enough to love his studies, does not come to hate 
them and dread the bitterness which he has once tasted, even when 
the years of infancy are left behind. His studies must be made an 
amusement : he must be questioned and praised and taught to 
rejoice when he has done well ; sometimes too, when he refuses 
instruction, it should be given to some other to excite his envy ; at 
times also he must be engaged in competition and should be allowed 
to believe himself successful more often than not, while he should 
be encouraged to do his best by such rewards as may appeal to his 
tender years." 


"I would urge that the lines which he is set to copy should not 
ejqpress thoughts of no significance, but convey some sound moral 
lesson.- He will remember such aphorisms even when he is an old 



man, and the impression made upon his unformed mind will con- 
tribute to the formation of his character. He may also be enter- 
tained by learning the sayings of famous men and above all selec- 
tions from the poets, poetry being more attractive to children." 


He wears the toga praetexta. The slave paedagogus, in tunic and sandals, 
carries his tablets. 


"But the time has come for the boy to grow up little by little, to 
leave the nursery and tackle his studies in good earnest. This 
therefore is the place to discuss the question as to whether it is 
better to have him educated privately at home or hand him over 
to some large school and those whom I may call public instructors. 
The latter course has, I know, won the approval of most eminent 
authorities and of those who have formed the national character 
of the most famous states. It would, however, be folly to shut our 
eyes to the fact that there are some who disagree with this prefer- 



ence for public education owing to a certain prejudice in favor of 
private tuition. These persons seem to be guided in the main by 
two principles. In the interests of morality they would avoid the 
society of a number of human beings at an age that is specially 
liable to acquire serious faults : I only wish I could deny the truth 
of the view that such education has often been the cause of the 
most discreditable actions. Secondly, they hold that whoever is 
to be the boy's teacher, he will devote his time more generously 
to one pupil than if he has to divide it among several. . . . But 
morals may be corrupted at home as well. There are numerous 
instances of both, as there are also of the preservation of a good 
reputation under either circumstance. . . . There is nothing to 
prevent the principle of 'one teacher, one boy' being combined 
with school education. And even if such a combination should 
prove impossible, I should still prefer the broad daylight of a re- 
spectable school to the solitude and obscurity of a private educa- 


"All our pupils will require some relaxation, not merely because 
there is nothing in this world that can stand continued strain and 
even unthinking and inanimate objects are unable to maintain 
their strength, unless given intervals of rest, but because study 
depends on the good will of the student, a quality that cannot be 
secured by compulsion. ... I approve of play in the young ; it 
is a sign of a lively disposition ; nor will you ever lead me to believe 
that a boy who is gloomy and in a continual state of depression is 
ever likely to show alertness of mind in hi& work." 


"I disapprove of flogging, although it is the regular custom and 
meets with the acquiescence of Chrysippus, because in the first 
place it is a disgraceful form of punishment and fit only for slaves, 
and is in any case an insult, as you will realize if you imagine its 
infliction at a later age. Secondly, if a boy is so insensible to 
instruction that reproof is useless, he will, like the worst type of 


slave, merely become hardened to blows. Finally, there will be 
absolutely no need of such punishment if the master is a thorough 


"In this connection there is much that can only be taught in 
actual practice, as for instance when the boy should take breath, 
at what point he should introduce a pause into a line, where the 
sense ends or begins, when the voice should be raised or lowered, 
what modulation should be given to each phrase, and when he 
should increase or slacken speed, or speak with greater or less 
energy. In this portion of my work I will give but one golden 
rule : to do all these things, he must understand what he reads. 
But above all his reading must be manly, combining dignity and 
charm ; it must be different from the reading of prose, for poetry 
is song and poets claim to be singers. But this fact does not jus- 
tify degeneration into sing-song or the effeminate modulations now 
in vogue : there is an excellent saying on this point attributed tc 
Gaius Caesar while he was still a boy : * If you are singing, you sing 
badly; if you are reading, you sing.'" 


"I strongly disapprove of the prevailing practice of allowing 
boys to stand up or leap from the seats in the expression of their 
applause. Young men, even when they are listening to others, 
should be temperate in manifesting their approval. If this be 
insisted upon, the pupil will depend on his instructor's verdict 
and will take his approval as a guarantee that he has spoken well. 
The audience no less than the speaker should therefore keep their 
eyes fixed on their teacher's face, since thus they will learn to dis- 
tinguish between what is praiseworthy and what is not : for just 
as writing gives facility, so listening begets the critical faculty. 
But in the schools of to-day we see boys stooping forward ready 
to spring to their feet : at the close of each period they not merely 
rise, but rush forward with shouts of unseemly enthusiasm. Such 
compliments are mutual and the success of a declamation consists 
in this kind of applause." 



We have just taken account of the profession of teaching, 
and in former chapters we described the education of chil- 
dren and the advanced training of older boys and of young 
men destined for public life. This gave us some insight 
into the mental habit of the Romans, but only as it was con- 
nected with formal instruction in the schools and under 
tutors. If we are to make a truthful estimate of their intel- 
lectual life, we must know more concerning the occupation 
of their minds in the leisure hours of adult life. What did 
the Romans read, and what place in their lives did the fine 
arts occupy? 

Compared with most modern nations of Europe and 
America, the masses of ancient Rome read little. Educa- 
tion was not universal, there was no printing press, publi- 
cation was greatly limited, and the condensed, periodic, 
artificial language of literary and professional Latin was even 
farther removed from common speech and understanding 
than the serious literature of to-day is from the matter of 
cheap journalism. Horace, Lucretius, and Livy, and even 
Virgil and Cicero, for the ordinary man, were hard reading. 
On the other hand, the Romans who did use books were of 
the serious sort who read with conscious appreciation. 

Let us look for a moment at what they read. Up to 
240 B.C., when Livius Andronicus, a former slave brought 
captive to Rome from Magna Graecia after the fall of Ta- 
rentum in 272 B.C., translated the Odyssey into the Latin 




language for purposes of school instruction, there was practi- 
cally no Latin literature. The Twelve Tables, dating from 
about 450 B.C., and some of the speeches of Appius Claudius 

the Blind, consul in 307 B.C., 
are all that the historian of 
literature takes account of, 
and they were hardly de- 
serving of the name of art. 

When Cicero and Caesar 
were young men, Latin lit- 
erature was therefore less 
than two hundred years old. 
What there was for them to 
read for purposes of study 
or diversion consisted of 
something like this : in epic, 
the Odyssey in the rugged 
Latin of Livius Andronicus, 
the Punic War of Naevius, 
and the famous Annals of 
Rome of Ennius ; in drama, 
the adaptations and imita- 
tions of Greek tragedy by 
Livius, Ennius, Naevius, 
Pacuvius, and Accius, and 
of Greek comedy by Caecil- 
ius Statius, Plautus, and 
Terence ; in satire, the mis- 
cellanies of Ennius and the social and political attacks 
of Lucilius ; in oratory, the speeches of Appius Claudius, 
Cato the Censor, and others; in history, the poetic 
exploitations of Ennius and Naevius, the Origins of Cato, 
and the works of several writers on the Punic Wars ; in 

The tympanum, pipe, and vine leaves 
in the hair, are symbolic of Dionysus, or 
Bacchus, in whose honor drama was pro* 


the didactic, Gate's On Agriculture; in jurisprudence, a 
number of commentaries marking the beginnings of scientific 
study of the law. It will be seen by this, first, that Roman 
literature was greatly indebted to Greece, a fact which would 
be more noticeable if form as well as subject were considered ; 
second, that aside from the drama, which was a public 
spectacle supplied by the State in the grand style, this litera- 
ture, whatever its form, sprang from the life of the Roman 
people ; and, third, that it was a practical literature, lack- 
ing almost entirely the lighter contribution of the lyric, 
and concerning itself largely with the interests of the State. 

To supplement this not very abundant national literature, 
there was available, for those who were fired by intellectual 
or professional ambition, the rich legacy of Greek litera- 
ture. From the time of the Scipios, about the middle of 
the second century B.C., the ideal education included in- 
struction in both tongues and a finishing in Greece. There 
was a Greek library in Rome under Augustus, and another 
under Trajan. 

By the time of Cicero's death, Roman literature had been 
enriched by the lyrics of Catullus, the great poem of Lu- 
cretius On Nature, the Commentaries of Caesar, the ency- 
clopaedic learning of Varro, the legal treatises of Mucius 
Scaevola and Servius Sulpicius, and the wide variety of 
Cicero's own magnificent contribution. In a few years the 
Eclogues or Pastorals of Virgil were added, bringing to his 
practical countrymen the fresh and delightful experience 
of the poetry of Theocritus, the Greek whose Idylls, pub- 
lished two hundred years before Virgil's time, are the world's 
most famous short poems on the life of the country. By 
the time the menace of Antony and the East was removed 
at the battle of Actium in 31 B.C., Virgil's Georgics were 
near completion, and Horace was known for satire and some- 

206 LmXG ROME 

what for lyric. In five years Livy at the age of thirty- 
three was to begin the great History of Rome, the appear- 
ance of whose parts from time to time brought fame to him 
and crystallized the ideal of Roman character in the 
minds of his own and future generations. The Aeneid 
was given to the world soon after its author's death in 
19 B.C. 

The deaths of Virgil and Horace in 19 B.C. and 8 B.C., of 
Maecenas and Augustus in 8 B.C. and A.D. 14, and of Livy 
in A.D. 17, close the account of the great Augustan writers 
and the chief patrons of Augustan letters. Ovid's ver- 
satility and ease in the Metamorphoses, the Amores, and the 
Heroides, the exquisite love poetry in elegiacs by Tibullus 
and Propertius, and even the less fortunate product of others 
in a court circle where it was the fashion to write, deserved 
the fame they won, but these authors are not to be ranked 
with the great names of Cicero, Caesar, Virgil, Horace, and 
Livy, at whose mention the world is reminded, not of the 
anxieties and conceits and graces of the young poet about 
town, but of the Roman State and of the Roman character 
that lay at its foundations. 

The century after Augustus' death added much to litera- 
ture. There were the two Senecas, the elder who wrote 
on rhetoric, the younger who contributed philosophical 
essays, the Moral Epistles, and a number of tragedies which 
in the Renaissance served as the link between ancient and 
modern serious drama. There were the historian Tacitus, 
and Quintilian the professor of rhetoric, and the satirist 
Juvenal, and the epigrammatist Martial, and the ency- 
clopaedist Pliny the Elder, whose Natural History is a mine 
of information of all sorts, and the letter-writing Pliny the 
Younger, who emulated Cicero, and the picaresque novelist 
or satirist Petronius, and Lucan the poet of Pharsalia, and 



Silius Italicus and Statius, the ambitious authors of tedious 

No doubt there were works of less permanent nature in 
circulation, but there was nothing remotely resembling the 
flood of books and magazines and journals that inundates 
the reader of the twentieth century. There were libraries 
from Augustus on, 
and twenty-nine are 
known in the period 
from his time to 
Hadrian. The li- 
brary at Timgad in 
Roman Africa is es- 
timated at twenty 
thousand books. 
This is little, how- 
ever, compared with 
modern times. 
What survives of 
Roman literature 
corresponds to the 
serious and solid lit- 
erature of modern 
times which we call 
standard or classic, and was read, as the classics to-day 
are read, only by the fit and few whose intellectual and 
moral equipment enabled them to read and enjoy. The 
striking differences between the two reading publics are, 
first, that the few who composed the ancient public suffered 
less from the distractions of too many books, and, second, 
that the great mass of the lower reading public was lack- 
ing altogether. As regards publication, it may be added 
that public readings by authors, so frequent as to invite the 


Painted on a wall in Herculaneum, She has gold 




satirist's attack, were in part a substitute for the issuing of 

Regarded as material for liberal training in the school 
and for liberal culture on the part of the adult serious reader, 
the literary product of Rome during the two centuries from 
Cicero's youth to the deaths of Pliny, Tacitus, and Juvenal 
in the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian compares on the whole 
net unfavorably with that cf similar periods in the histories 

of other peoples. It rivaled 
Greek oratory in Cicero, 
and Greek history in Livy 
and Tacitus. It surpassed 
Greek satire in Horace and 
Juvenal, and furnished the 
world's greatest epigram- 
matist in Martial and 
greatest letter-writer in 
Cicero. It did as well in 
the lyric and epic as Greece 
of the fifth and fourth cen- 
turies. If we miss the sup- 

ATBAGICMASK ^^ an( J eage Qf ^ 

Found in the ViUa of Hadrian, fifteen miles , , ., 

from Rome. Greek tongue, there is com- 

pensation in the precision, 

dignity, vigor, and sonorousness of a language that was 
the fit instrument for the lords of a world. If the philos- 
ophy of Plato, the criticism and science of Aristotle, the 
epic of Homer, and the Athenian drama found nothing Ro- 
man to rival them, it was because their richness was too 
great for rivalry and could inspire only its transfer from 
tongue to tongue. 

Much has been said of Roman lack of originality in letters 
and the arts. The drama indeed was especially indebted 


to the Greek stage. Greek plays were imitated, adapted, 
and even translated, as French or Italian plays have been 
for the English and American stages. They were great 
plays, they were of the great past of a great race, they lent 
themselves to the purposes of the Roman aedile to produce 
on state occasions an impressive piece of tragic pageantry 
or a polished comedy of intrigue. The timely, the local, 
the realistic, belonged no more to State theater representa- 
tions in the grand style than the jazz piece to a symphony 
concert. At the most, the slighter forms of drama, if used 
at all out of their proper place in unofficial shows, were cur- 
tain raisers to the higher forms of art. Yet no one thought 
of the Greek play in Latin as plagiarism, or blamed it as 
unoriginal. Quite the contrary, the use of Greek litera- 
ture for Roman purpose conferred distinction on the user. 
To know both tongues and use them, to be versed in Greek 
literature, had long been the ideal before the times from 
Augustus to Marcus Aurelius made it the fashion. The 
men who could make Greek letters accessible to their fellow 
countrymen were benefactors to be thanked for their clever- 
ness. The first men to do it claimed the credit of pioneers. 
Cicero, Virgil, Horace, and Ovid write with the assurance, 
and sometimes the assertion, that their use of the form and 
substance of Greek literature will bring them everlasting 

In other fields than the drama, the debt of Roman litera- 
ture is not so direct and so overwhelming, though to deny 
it in general would be like denying the general dependence 
of American letters upon European. But the declaration 
that Roman letters are indebted to the Greek must not mis- 
lead us into the too common view that Roman literature is 
not an expression of Roman life and Roman character. 
Those who argue best that the Georgics and Eclogues and 


Aeneid of Virgil and the Odes of Horace are only "pale reflec- 
tions" of Hesiod, Theocritus, and Homer, and of the Greek 
lyric poets, are the mechanical scholars who are patient in 
the finding of sources and parallels, have had no experience 
of Italy, and are unaccustomed to read an author as a whole. 
With such critics it is hard to argue. To the reader who 
has carried his authors in Italy or read them after his return, 
it never occurs to think of Latin literature as anything but 
the expression of Roman and Italian experience. What- 
ever the borrowings of Cicero in De Amicitia and De Seneo 
tute, in both of them the reader feels that the friendship 
and the old age are Cicero's own and are charged with the 
authority of his sixty-two years of living. Whatever the 
form of Horace's Odes, they are warm with Italy and Roman 

But let us pass to the arts. The art most constantly 
present to the Roman eye was architecture. Here again, 
reminders of the Greek were everywhere. The temple, 
the basilica, the baths, the portico or colonnade, the theater, 
the amphitheater, the circus, the inclosure or group called 
forum, the triumphal arch, the honorary column, the palace, 
the administrative building, all displayed in varying degree 
the column and architrave and the moldings and other 
ornaments belonging to the Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian 
styles of building. 

Of the various buildings in Graeco-Roman architecture, 
the temple was least removed in character from the Greek. 
The other buildings were likely to be Greek only in their 
decorative aspects, and even there made abundant use of 
the semicircular arch. The great facade of the Colosseum 
is an example ; the three Greek orders are used on it purely 
as ornament a modified Doric on the first zone or story, 
the Ionic on the second, the Corinthian on the third, and a 



art in Ancient Rome as it became in the Renaissance. Its 
subjects ranged from street scenes and ordinary life to tales 
from Homer and Greek tragedy. Mosaic, usually for floor 
decoration, with its birds and beasts and fruits and flowers, 
sometimes rose to great excellence, as in the battle scene of 

The branches of the plane, or sycamore, are a marvel of realistic beauty. 

Alexander and Darius. The elder Pliny's mention of doves 
reproduced so faithfully as to show their reflection in the 
water is verified in Pompeian mosaic. 

Sculpture was of greater importance. Two kinds of 
demand called forth its production. The rich and ambitious 
capital had either seized or acquired by purchase much 
of the art of Greece, and its presence inspired the order of 
many copies, adaptations, and imitations of famous Greek 
works for the adornment of gentlemen's villas and houses, 


and for the public buildings and gardens. Much of this 
product was poor, and little of it was original ; yet, though 
it does not flatter the artist's invention or skill, it is an evi- 
dence that the Romans appreciated the value of art. In 
the second place, there was the demand of consuls and em- 
perors and others among the great or the pretentious for 
portrait busts and statues, and for pictorial sculpture in 
relief to commemorate their exploits in war and peace. The 
reliefs on the arches of Titus and Constantine, the columns 
of Trajan and Marcus Aurelius, the balustrades in the 
Forum, and the museums filled with portrait sculptures, 
many of them belonging to the world's best art, are examples 
of this. The excellence of Roman art in the historical relief 
and in portraiture can hardly be overstated. Sculpture 
again is a demonstration of the close connection of Roman 
art with life, and especially the public life. 

Such in the main were the arts and the literature which 
graced the strenuous living of the Roman people. Per- 
haps the art of the garden, public and private, now called 
landscape architecture, should be included. It was no 
doubt as important in ancient as in Renaissance Italy. 
Music seems hardly to have existed as an independent art. 
Most references to music in ancient times relate it to the 
flute or pipes in religious ceremonial or to accompaniment 
in dramatic representation, or to the shell or lyre in con- 
nection with lyric poetry, or to the horn and trumpet in 
wao:. The great singing and instrumental music of Italy 
were still many centuries away. 

The Romans aie often called a matter-of-fact and inar- 
tistic people, with the implication that they were also with- 
out taste. This is not quite just. Rome from Augustus 
on was a monumental and magnificent city with a wealth of 
statuary brought from the East or executed in the capital. 


For two centuries at least it had had its coteries of Hellen- 
ists, and for two centuries more the Greek tongue was the 
mark of intellectual distinction. No doubt there were 
great numbers of Romans who did not give a thought to art, 
and much or most of the art in the city was the work of 
Greek minds and hands ; but this does not prove a national 
want of appreciation. The society that made its capital 
a city of architectural splendors and a vast museum of the 
arts, that produced the faultless urbanity of the Augustan 
literary and intellectual circles, that recorded in Livy its 
appreciation of the noble traits of men, and that evolved 
the Ciceronian prose and the Virgilian verse, is not lightly 
to be charged wUJ) want of culture. 


The Roman physician, like the Roman teacher, was 
likely to be a Greek or of Greek descent, and was frequently 
a freedman or even a slave. When Cicero says, as he writes 
of the various callings, "Those fields of knowledge in which 
either there is a greater intelligence or from which the bene- 
fit sought is out of the ordinary, as medicine and archi- 
tecture, are honorable for those to whose rank they belong," 
he is probably not thinking of patricians or equestrians, or 
even of plebeians of Roman blood, but of a profession largely 
filled by foreigners of the freedman class. 

The elder Pliny, quoting an earlier writer, states that the 
first physician to come to Rome was Archagathus, an emi- 
grant from the Peloponnesus in 219 B.C. who was given 
Roman citizenship and an office purchased at the State's 
expense. This was seventy-two years after the religion of 
Aesculapius, the god of healing and the patron of physicians, 
was brought to Rome and located on the Tiber Island, an 
event which no doubt marked an active beginning of inter- 
est in Greek medical skill. The office of Archagathus seems 
to have been a surgeon's clinic : "They say he was a sur- 
geon and that his coining was at first much liked, but that 
soon his cruelty with the knife and cautery gave him the 
name of butcher, and brought the art and all doctors into 
bad repute." 

The Greeks were never popular in Rome, and Archa- 
gathus probably suffered for his nationality as well as for 
the indifference to other people's pain with which he was 
charged. Old Cato liked the doctors no better than the 



Musa was one, and the wine-cure doctors. There were 
male doctors and female doctors ; there were doctors main- 
tained in the larger houses, there were court doctors. There 
were doctors for slaves, for gladiators in training, and for 
soldiers' barracks and the army. There were doctors who 
received the enormous salary of $30,000 a year ; there were 
communal doctors in the smaller towns who received very 
little ; and there were quack doctors. 

The practice of medicine in Rome by the ignorant and 
unskilled was an easy matter. There were no medical 
colleges giving diplomas, no examining boards, no licenses. 
"There is no penalty for their ignorance, 57 says Pliny* 
"They learn at our risk and get their experience by the death 
of their patients, and a doctor can kill a man with entire 
freedom from punishment." Medical education was by 
apprenticeship; the learner helped the doctor in his office 
or clinic and accompanied him on his rounds, and in due 
time was either taken into partnership or given permis- 
sion to practice independently. "I was feeling low/' writes 
Martial in an epigram addressed to Doctor Symmachus, 
"but you came straightway to me with a hundred of your 
students. A hundred hands chill with the North wind felt 
my pulse. I didn't have the fever before, Symmachus, 
but I have it now." The drug business also was more or 
less unregulated; there were sellers of medicine, but no 
scientific pharmacies, and the doctor kept his own stock of 
drugs. If there are abuses in our day of careful regulation, 
It is hardly to be supposed that there were not greater abuses 
in Rome, with the profession largely made up of the servile 
and the foreign, who had less to lose and more to gain than 
the reputable Roman. 

We should not be too hasty, however, in concluding that 
medicine was in irresponsible and incompetent hands. The 



Greeks had a long experience in medicine and surgery behind 
them. There were probably in Alexandria and other enter- 
prising cities superior facilities for a really scientific prepara- 
tion ; there were medical treatises for the basis of study and 
apprenticeship is after all a very practical and very effective 


Nippers, forceps, dilators, catheter, tenaculum. Below, from the right : clyster 
pipe, for injections ; scissors ; cannula, or drain ; bleeding-cups ; spathoxnele, for 
preparing applications. 

method which still exists in the use of clinic and interne- 
ship for the training of the young physician. It should not 
be forgotten, too, that what may be called the standard 
diseases and the standard remedies were known and treated 
in simple and practical fashion from the earliest times, and 
have always remained substantially the same. Most of 
all, we should not forget the wonderfully complete equip- 



ments of ancient surgical instruments forceps, needles, 
scalpels, knives, lancets, catheters, sounds which have 
been found, and which have astonished modern surgeons 
by their identity with those in use to-day. Among these 
collections, one is of Pompeian origin and preserved in the 
museum at Naples, and an- 
other was found near ancient 
Vindonissa, a Roman legionary 
post of the second century af- 
ter Christ in Switzerland, in 
the remains of a permanent 
military hospital belonging to 
the post. Besides the ruins, 
the instruments, and various 
little boxes containing drugs, 
an inscription was found, "To 
Tiberius Claudius Hymnus, 
physician of the Twenty-first 
Legion, and to Claudia Quieta 
(his wife)," placed by his pa- 
tron, Atticus. 

Dentistry was not the uni- 
versal thing it is to-day in 
America, nor even the less uni- 
versal thing it is in Europe, but gold work of some sort was 
known in Rome at a very early date. This is indicated by 
a fragment of the tenth of the Twelve Tables, dating about 
449 B.C., mentioning "teeth joined to or with gold." 

Considering the prominence of the Greeks in medicine 
and surgery in Rome, it is not going too far to assume that 
Hippocrates of the island of Cos, about 460-360 B.C., called 
the father of Greek medicine and esteemed by Plato and 
Aristotle in Athens, was a great influence in Roman medi- 



The Oath of Hippocrates is still taken 
by graduating medical students. 


cine. The physician's oath as preserved in Hippocrates' 
work on medicine is still administered in our own time to 
the graduating classes of colleges of medicine, and was no 
doubt a part of the formality of admitting the apprentice 
student to practice in Rome- An attentive reading of it 
will suggest much as to the practice as well as the ethics o? 
the Roman physician. 


"I swear by Apollo Physician, by Asclepius, by Health, by 
Panacea and by all the gods and goddesses, making them my wit- 
nesses, that I will carry out, according to my ability and judgment, 
this oath and this indenture. To hold my teacher in this art- 
equal to my own parents ; to make him partner in my livelihood ; 
when he is in need of money to share mine with him. ; to consider 
his family as my own brothers, and to teach them this art, if they 
want to learn it, without fee or indenture ; to impart precept, oral 
instruction, and all other instruction to my own sons, the sons of 
my teacher, and to indentured pupils who have taken the physi- 
cian's oath, but to nobody else. I will use treatment to help the 
sick according to my ability and judgment, but never with a view 
to injury and wrong-doing. Neither will I administer a poison to 
anybody when asked to do so, nor will I suggest such a course. 
Similarly I will not give to a woman a pessary to cause abortion. 

" But I will keep pure and holy both my life and my art. I will 
not use the knife, not even, verily, on sufferers from stone, but I 
will give place to such as are craftsmen therein. Into whatsoever 
houses I enter, I will enter to help the sick, and I will abstain from 
all intentional wrong-doing and harm, especially from abusing the 
bodies of man or woman, bond or free. And whatsoever I shall 
see or hear in the course of my profession as well as outside my 
profession in my intercourse with men, if it be what should not 
be published abroad, I will never divulge, holding such things to 
be holy secrets. 

"Now if I carry out this oath, and break it not, may I gain for- 
ever reputation among all men for my life and for my art ; but i* 
I trarisgress it and forswear myself,. may the opposite befall ma" 


One or two extracts from the same work will show us 
tne physician actually at work. 

"I urge you not to be too unkind, but to consider carefully your 
patient's superabundance or means. Sometimes give your serv- 
ices for nothing, calling to mind a previous benefaction or present 
satisfaction. And if there be an opportunity of serving one who is 
a stranger in financial straits, give full assistance to all such. For 
where there is love of man, there is also love of the art. For some 
patients, though conscious that their condition is perilous, recover 
their health simply through their contentment with the goodness 
of the physician." 

"The dignity of a physician requires that he should look healthy, 
and as plump as nature intended him to be ; for the common crowd 
consider those who are not of this excellent bodily condition 
to be unable to take care of others. . . . The prudent man 
must also be careful of certain moral considerations not only to 
be silent, but also of a great regularity of life, since thereby his 
reputation will be greatly enhanced ; he must be a gentleman in 
sharacter, and being this he must be grave and kind to all. For 
an overforward obtrusiveness is despised, even though it may be 
very useful. ... In appearance, let him be of a serious but not 
harsh countenance ; for harshness is taken to mean arrogance and 
unkindness, while a man of uncontrolled laughter and excessive 
gaiety is considered vulgar, and vulgarity especially must be 

"Such, then, should the physician be, both in body and in soul." 

Finally, the ancients were already using the jokes about 
the doctor which are so familiar to-day. Here is one of 
ours: "What profession do you follow?" "The medical; 
I'm an undertaker. " This is not so very different from one 
of Martial's epigrams : 

"An undertaker now is Brown, 

Doctor no more; 
His work is really still 
What 'twas before." 


And here is another from Martial : 

"Though he bathed with us yesterday, dined with us, too, 

And was quite in the pink of condition, 
Ancus died this A.M., of a dream that he'd asked 

Hermocrates to be his physician." 


The money of the ancient Roman was a coin system whose 
unit was the as, a copper piece worth about two cents. 
The next higher coin was the silver sestertius, between four 
and five cents ; the next, the silver quinarius, between eight 
and ten cents ; the next, the denariits, also silver, between 
sixteen and twenty cents. The aureus, of gold, had a value 
of between four and five dollars. Roughly speaking, the 
coins of Rome corresponded to our nickel, ten-cent piece, 
quarter, and five-dollar gold piece. The sestertius was the 
unit in ordinary calculations ; in large transactions the 
reckoning was by thousands of sesterces. The purchasing 
power of Roman money could vary with time and circum- 

The original money of the Romans was their cattle, as 
the word pecunia, from pecus, testifies. Their original 
coin, at first mere crude metal and then stamped, was the 
unwieldy copper as weighing a pound, whose bulk was gradu- 
ally reduced until at the end of the Second Punic War in 
203 B.C. it weighed an ounce, and finally half an ounce. 
The coinage of silver in Rome began in 269 B.C., the mint 
being located in the temple of Juno Moneta on the Capitoline 
Hill. The word "Moneta," used as an epithet of Juno 
and perhaps referring to some fancied warning or admonish- 
ment from the goddess, soon began to mean the mint, and 
then the coin or money which was the product of the mint. 
The word has descended to our times as Italian moneta, 
French rn&nnaie, and English money. The coinage of gold, 


Coin e was struck by Mark Antony about 37 B.C. ; coin / by 
Augustus about A.D. 6. Both are autei, gold; the latter is in- 
scribed, Caesar Augustus, piyi F[ilius] Pater Patriae. Coin g is 
a denarius of Trajan, about A.D. 107, with thp River Danube on 
the reverse. Cdins t, j v k are of Tiberius and Nero." 


first occurring in the war with Hannibal, and introduced 
as a war measure, was discontinued soon after, but resumed 
by the time of Augustus. The Roman supply of silver was 
principally from the Spanish mines near Nova Carthago, 
now Cartagena, where forty thousand miners were em- 
ployed as early as Polybius, the Greek historian of Rome, 
210-128 B.C. Gold came from the Tagus in Spain and the 
Pactolus in Asia Minor ; copper from Etruria and various 
more distant sources. 

The word "moneta" also meant sometimes the stamp or 
die which was used in the process of coinage. The Roman 
coins of all metals and all periods which fill the museum cases 
of every land are stamped with the figures of gods and god- 
desses, the features of consuls, generals, and emperors, 
and with the monuments they erected, and are a wonderful 
means for the study of the Roman past. The issuing of 
money until 15 B.C. was controlled by the Senate. At that 
date the emperor assumed charge of the mintage in silver 
and gold and relieved the Senate of all but the coinage in 
copper. The duties of actual minting were at first in charge 
of special boards and later of the tres viri monetales, the com- 
mission of three on the mint. 

The dealings of Roman business in the last centuries of 
the Republic brought contacts with the money systems of 
many different states. Conquest, the movement of troops, 
provincial administration, the interchanges of trade, the 
importation of the grain supply, the slave traffic, and the 
increase of travel set money into circulation and frequently 
took it far from home. No port or other city of size was with- 
out its thriving money-changers to convert the stranger's 
or the returning citizen's foreign coin into the local cur- 
rency. No city of importance was without its money- 
tenders and bankers to accommodate the borrower and to 



issue bills of exchange or letters of credit to those with busi- 
ness abroad. Deposits bearing interest were received and 
funds were subject to check. By the time of the Empire, 
the financial life of Rome was on a scale and of a character 

surprisingly like that of 
modern times. There was 
even a panic in A.D. 33, 
which the Emperor Tiberius 
allayed by the distribution 
of four million dollars of 
State funds among the 

The man who was ready 
to be changer, lender, 
buyer and seller on com- 
mission, and in general to 
play the part of the modern 
banker, was the argentarius, 
the money-man, from ar gen- 
turn, silver. Another name 
for the money-broker, which 
was applied also to the 
tester of metal before it 
went into coinage, was the 
nummularius, from num- 

, a con. The name for one who was more exclusively a 
lender was /Generator, from foenus, interest. When Cicero 
borrowed to buy his mansion on the Palatine, he found it easy 
to get money at six per cent, and said he was regarded as 
good security because of his successful consulship of the 
year before. This was less than the usual rate, which wa& 
twelve per cent. Much higher rates of interest are heard 
of, but under unusual conditions. 

Jucundus was an auctioneer. This 
bronze portrait was found in his house 
in Pompeii, where was found also a box 
which contained 127 tablets recording 
accounts of his sales. 


If we inquire into the active financial life of Rome, we 
find that, aside from the ordinary mercantile operations 
natural to the business of a city, the money transactions 
were largely in the hands of the equestrian order ; that is, 
those citizens not of senatorial rank who possessed four hun- 
dred thousand sesterces, about $20,000. These men were 
the active money-making class from the time when their 
order was formed by Gaius Gracchus in 123 B.C. Besides 
banking and commercial business, they undertook State 
contracts, such as the importation of grain for the city, the 
provisioning of the army, the construction of public build- 
ings and aqueducts, and the raising of the taxes. 

It is in connection with the taxes that we hear most fre- 
quently of the financial career of the equestrian order. The 
Uoman State did not collect its taxes through the office of 
a State treasury department, but sold to the highest bidder 
the contract for collecting the amounts due in the provinces 
or territories assessed. If the successful bidder did not, in 
the fear of not getting the contract, bid too high, he was 
able to collect from the people a sum large enough to satisfy 
the government claim and to give hi a large profit. The 
persons who served as actual tax-collectors, the publicani, 
were much disliked ; those who would reproach Jesus called 
hi "a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publi- 
cans and sinners." Sometimes the bidder or bidders 
for the agent was frequently a business firm or a stock com- 
pany overreached themselves by contracting at too large 
a sum, and on realizing their mistake applied to the Senate 
for a cancellation of the contract. 

Since the support of the equites as a class was much valued 
by the senatorial or conservative party, requests like these 
for special favors might be embarrassing. Cicero writes to 
Atticus in December. 61 B.C. : 


"Yes, another fine proposal from the equites that is just about 
the limit and I not only tolerated but even actively stood for 
it ! Those who had the contract for Asia from the censors com- 
plained in the Senate that in their eagerness they had gone too far 
and agreed to impossible terms, and asked for a cancellation. I 
was the foremost among their champions, or rather the second ; 
for Crassus was the one who put them up to be bold enough to 
make the demand. An unpleasant business a shameless pro- 
posal, and a confession of lack of judgment. There was the great- 
est danger of their being wholly alienated from the Senate if they 
did not get what they wanted." 

Crassus, who stood behind the equites on this occasion, 
belonged to their order and was one of the wealthiest men 
of the time, and it is not unlikely that he was financially 
interested in the company or companies appearing before 
the Senate as above described. The city was probably full 
of investors on a smaller scale. 

The importation of grain for Rome and other cities watt 
another constant opportunity. The days when the penin- 
sula sufficed for itself were past, even in Cicero's time ; in 
75 B.C. his duties as quaestor in Sicily included the sending 
of wheat cargoes to Rome. Over a century later, Tacitus 
writes: "Once Italy exported supplies to the legions in 
distant provinces, and it does not suffer now from unpro- 
ductiveness. But we draw rather on Africa and Egypt, 
and the life of the Roman people is allowed to depend on 
ships and chances at sea." 

Other opportunities for investment are illustrated by the 
career of Atticus, the friend of Cicero. Besides extensive 
lending to Cicero and his friends and to various Greek cities, 
he engaged in publishing and in the training of gladiators. 

So far in our account there is nothing in the business life 
of Rome that is unfamiliar to modern times in America, 
unless it is the restriction of financial operations so largely 


to one order in society. The money connections of the 
patricians and the senatorial class who were not patrician 
were of a different sort. The theory of Roman society was 
that men of good family and senators were not engaged 
in money-making but in the service of the State. We have 
seen that the offices in the public career carried with them 
no salaries, and that services to the citizenry in general 
were gratuitous. This was a matter of tradition from the 
earlier times when the chief men of the gentes found all 
their occupation in the management of public affairs and 
of their own estates. Tradition was strengthened by law. 
Livy, for example, tells of the unpopularity of the consul 
Flaminius "because of a new law [about 220 B.C.] which 
Quintus Claudius, tribune of the people, had carried in 
opposition to the Senate, with Flaminius as the one sena- 
tor supporting him ; a law forbidding the possession by any 
senator or any senator's son of a sea-going ship of more than 
three hundred amphorae capacity [about seven and a half 
tons]. This was regarded as enough for the carrying ot 
produce from the land ; all money-making was looked upon 
as unbecoming to senators." We have already noted the 
Lex Cincia de Muneribus of 204 B.C. prohibiting the accept- 
ance of payment or gifts for service in the courts. 

It must not be supposed, however, that either tradition 
or the law kept senators and patricians from financial con- 
tagion. In the first place, it is hardly possible that the Cin- 
cian Law was not in numerous instances evaded. There 
were various ways in which the genuinely grateful citizen 
who had means could discharge the obligation he felt toward 
the man of rank or family who had helped him through a 
difficult business in the courts. There was legacy; there 
was the throwing of business opportunity in his protector's 
way; there was support in the next elections; and there 


might be an actual payment kept secret. In all but the 
last mentioned, it could be claimed that the letter of the 
law was not violated; and as time went on and the city 
became crowded, and the great families found their fortunes 

<$* '-' - 

tt Yr 


At the left: Temple of Vesta, Temple of Castor and Pollux, Imperial 
Palace (in background) ; center : Temple of Julius Caesar, Arch of Au- 
gustus, Basilica Julia ; right : Arch of Tiberius, Temple of Vespasian, Tem- 
ple of Saturn, Temple of Jupiter (on hill). Back of the Temple of Vespa- 
sian is the Tabularium. 

on the decline, and more and more of the governing class 
were men of scant means, it could be claimed that to observe 
scrupulously the spirit of the law as well as the letter was 
to attempt the impossible and to be unjust. 

Cicero affords an example. From all we can know, on 
his entrance upon the public career the orator was a man 
of moderate fortune. He was always in debt, yet apparently 
always able to indulge the most expensive tastes. To ex- 
plain how he could buy a house for one hundred and seventy- 


five thousand dollars, support a son in Athens at three thou- 
sand dollars a year, own half a dozen country places, and 
lead a life to correspond, is difficult unless it is assumed that 
his constant activities in public life met with some reward. 
In England, a modern aristocratic country, the fiction of no 
charge by the barrister is maintained, while every client 
expects to pay a fee and is not left uncertain as to its amount. 

In the second place, the owning of landed property was 
neither forbidden nor of ill repute. This also was a tra- 
dition from the earlier and simpler day. The estates out- 
side the city grew larger and came into fewer hands after 
the importation of grain reduced the profit of ordinary farm- 
ing. Cattle, wine, oil, and fruits took the place of grain, 
and an equipment of slave labor the place of the numerous 
small farmers. 

In the third place, the public career led in the majority 
of cases to the provinces, where by fair means or otherwise 
the fortunes of the propraetor or proconsul and the numer- 
ous friends or relatives under his patronage found ample 
means for increase. We hear much about extortion and other 
abuses, but it need not be supposed that there were not also 
honorable means of profiting by the governorship. Every 
successive increase of Roman dominion opened up new 
fields for investment, and the governor and his adminis- 
trative train were first on the ground. Even at home in 
the capital, there was the opportunity to participate in 
provincial enterprises by investment. 

We may conclude therefore that, directly and indirectly, 
the nonsalaried and noncommercial nobility as well as the 
equestrian financiers were able to share in the worldly ad- 
vantages of the constantly expanding State. 


We have followed the public man in the career of service 
to the State as Chilian and soldier, and have followed him 
also in his service to the individual citizen in the capacity of 
lawyer or advocate. We have seen the activities of some- 
what humbler men in teaching and medicine, the activities 
of the equestrian class in commerce, contracts, and financial 
adventure in general, and the participation of the aristo- 
cratic class in money-making by way of investment, specula- 
tion, and exploitation of the provinces. 

These careers, political, legal, financial, pedagogical, and 
medical, correspond in general to the professions of to-day, 
though we have seen that the callings of teacher and doctor 
were of less distinction than they are in modern times. Let 
us now pass to the other occupations that went to make up 
the life of the ancient city, mentioning first those which we 
usually associate with the intellectual or professional call- 
ings, and afterward the more common sort which depend 
upon skill of hand or upon mere labor. 

The employees in and about the government offices will 
make a good beginning. There were, first of all, the scrtbae, 
the scribes. This class included the secretaries of individ- 
uals, commissions, the courts, and the Senate, the numer- 
ous ordinary and expert accountants, and in general all 
those usually meant by the term "clerk." Horace was for 
a time clerk in the State treasury. Cicero had a private 
secretary named Tiro, an expert in shorthand, as has been 




noted. Besides the army of clerks, as great in ancient times 
as now, there might have been found every morning in ante- 
chambers and offices of the Government a great number of 
attendants : the janitors and ushers, who let the visitors 
In and out, ran errandj, and facilitated in general the busi- 


Wax tablets, styluses, ink-well, and fragment of pottery with Greek spelling 


ness of their superiors; the lictors, who accompanied the 
magistrates, carrying the fasces symbolic of authority; 
and the various messengers. A collective name for this 
little world of clerks and attendants was apparitores. 

As having business with this class, the stationers and 
booksellers may be noticed here. The material for sale 
by the stationer was the- paper made from the papyrus 
plant and called charta, manufactured in large quantities 


by cutting the stalk into strips, moistening, pressing, and 
finishing; pens made of reeds and split at the point like 
the old-fashioned quill pen; wax tablets consisting of 
wooden frames with coating of wax; styluses with point 
for writing in the wax and blunt end for smoothing out or 
erasing; black ink for ordinary use and red for headings 
and ornamental features ; ink-wells ; and pen or stylus cases. 
In the bookseller's shop were the rolls of papyrus which 
constituted the volumes, volumina, or books. The Sosii 
Brothers, in the Argiletum, a street leading from the north 
side of the Forum near the Senate, were the sellers of 
Horace's works. 

There were also the publishers of books. Atticus, the 
friend of Cicero, included among his many activities the 
publishing business. The place of printing press was taken 
by the copyist, perhaps a trained slave, who repeated the 
author's work in as many copies as were desired. In the 
case of a firm publishing many books, there would be a 
large force of these copyists. The use of a number of dicta- 
tors, each in a room with a hundred copyists, could bring 
out a large edition with little delay; or the transcription 
could be done individually. Cicero writes Atticus in June, 
60 B.C., about the work he had written in Greek on his own 
consulship, "If you like the book, see that it is to be had at 
Athens and the other cities of Greece." In 45 B.C., after 
changing the Academica from two books to four and making 
otijer changes, he writes Atticus, who had already had the 
work copied in part: "You will not let yourself be dis- 
turbed by the loss from having had copied the parts of the 
Academica in your hands. In the new form the work will 
be more distinguished, briefer, and better. " 

In the field which we should call the fine arts, that is, 
painting, sculpture, architecture, and the finer handicrafts, 


there were of course many at work. They were in most 
part of Greek origin, were artisans rather than artists, and 
left no names of the first class. Architecture was the great- 
est of the arts em- 
ployed by Rome. 
The public and pri- 
vate building of Au- 
gustan times, when 
Rome was changing 
from brick to marble, 
brought commissions 
to many experts and 
work to many arti- 
sans. The number 
of men employed in 
building, painting, 
molding and chisel- 
ing, pottery, and in 
the general beautifi- 
cation of the city 
during its prosperous 
and growing days, 
must have been very -j^ TOMB RELIEF OF THE HATEBH 

great . The sculpture shows a crane, whose ropes and pul- 

Even in mUSic, an le ** were operated by the large tread-wheel. The 
7 . building is a tomb in two stories, the lower for 

art OI leSS promi- burial ^a the upper for use as a chapel. On a 
in antiquity couct above reclines perhaps a lady of the Hateriaa 
. , . gens who is interred in the tomb. The crane may 

It nOW enjoys, be the sign that the Haterii were contractors. 

there were many 

teachers and performers. There were the flute-players at- 
tached to the theaters, where the plays had parts which 
were accompanied, and to religion, at whose sacrifices they 
contributed to the ritual, and in whose processions they 


formed a part. There were the players of stringed instru- 
ments, such as the lyre and the harp, who accompanied the 
recitation of the ode or the choral parts of the tragic drama. 
There were the trumpeters and cornetists of the army and 
of public functions. There were teachers not only for the 
training of these musicians but for such young people as 
included music in their education, whether instrumental or 

Again, the busir?ss of amusement furnished occupation 
to many. There were the actors and attendants at the 
theater; the gladiators and trainers and keepers of the 
beasts in connection with the amphitheater; the grooms 
and jockeys and attendants at the races in the circus ; and 
the employees at the baths, which were already an institu- 
tion in Augustus' time. 

There were the occupations connected with the eating 
and drinking of a million people. There were the carters 
who brought the produce from country or warehouse to the 
vegetable market, the cattle market, the fish market, and 
other centers of sale. There were the dealers in the markets, 
and the shopkeepers. There were the drinking places and 
the restaurants. There was the baker, who was usually 
his own miller, and bought the wheat, ground it in the stone 
mill turned by donkey or slave, made the flour into dough., 
and baked it in the big oven resembling our Dutch oven, 
all in his one place of business. The tomb of the bake* 
Marcus Vergilius Eurysaces, at the Porta Maggiore, is 
built of kneading jars and decorated with a frieze displaying 
all the operations of his business : the purchase of the grain, 
the grinding of the flour, the mixing of the dough, its 
preparation for the oven, the baking of it, the sale of the 

There were the occupations tha.t furnished and cared for 



the dress and ornament of the citizenry. There were the 
spinners, with distaff- and spindle, such as may be seen in 
the humbler homes of Italy to-day, and there were the 
weavers, with loom and warp and web and shuttle, equip- 
ment likewise still employed. Both were to be found in 


A miller and baker's establishment in Pompeii. The mills of lava rock, turned by 
slave or donkey power, flank the brick and concrete oven, in which fuel was burned 
until the heat was sufficient, when the fire was raked out and the loaves put in. 

the household, and worked also in factories or shops. There 
were the dyers, the fullers or laundrymen, the tailors, the 
hatters, the shoemakers. "Let the shoemaker stick to his 
last," was a Roman saying ne sutor supra arepidam. 
There were the barbers, and the makers and setters of razors, 
brushes, and combs. There were the jewelers who made 



and sold the rings, brooches, necklaces, bracelets, and dia- 
dems that beautified the rich, and the cheap and flashy 
ornament worn by the poorer. The little stores and shops 
of the ancient city were multitudinous. When the wooden 
and iron shutters were put up or drawn at close of day, and 


Two flalemne-n are displaying a piece of goods in a portico on the market place, 
before two gentlemen with slaves. 

when they were taken down in the morning, it was a noisy 
process, and the street underwent a great change in appear- 

There were the handicrafts. There were the carpenter 
and the mason and the decorator and mosaicist, to execute 
the plans of the architect. There were the cabinetmaker 
and the lampmaker and the potter and the worker in bronze 
to furnish and light the house. 


There were the marble workers, who sawed and cut the 
beautiful material of which public buildings and many 
private houses were made or with which they were veneered. 
There were many kinds of marble, from distant quarries, 
some of them in beautiful tints the ruddy, deep-toned, 
mottled africano, and the gold-and-purple giallo antico, 
or Numidian antique yellow, both from Africa; the pea- 
cock marble from Phrygia; the black from Euboea, the 
island north of Athens; the pure white Pentelic from the 
famous mountain near Athens, and the sparkling white 
from the island of Paros ; the marble of Luna from near 
Pisa, where there are still great quarries that ship to far parts 
of the world; the granites and porphyries of Egypt. A 
treatise on Roman marbles records more than two hundred 
varieties. Marble working is a craft much practiced in 
Italy to-day. The marble of Luna is now called Car- 

There were the clay workers, who made the brick and tile 
that went into the vast bulk of Roman building. The 
largest clay pits were across the Tiber beyond where Saint 
Peter's now stands, and are still in use on the same exten- 
sive scale. In earlier times bricks were dried in the sun ; by 
the time of Augustus they were dried in kilns. Many were 
stamped with the name of the owner, the maker, or the 
reigning emperor, and thus give much evidence to the 
archaeologist and historian. The ordinary brick wall was 
composed cf only a surface of bricks, usually three-cornered, 
the interior cf the wall being concrete, a mixture of broken 
stone and old tile with mortar made from lime and a crumbly 
material brought from pits in the Campagna. 

There were the workers, slave or free, employed by the 
great contractors in the erection of buildings the carriers 
and tenders, the operators of the great) derricks and rope- 



and-pulley devices pictured on the tomb of the Haterii 
Brothers in the Lateran Museum. The simpler tools have 
changed little, but machinery has developed enormously. 
One great difference between ancient and modern building 
employment is in the greater number of hand laborers in 
antiquity and in the use of slaves. 


From a painting in Ostia. The ship is named Isis Gezniniana, and has 
on board the captain (magister}, Farnaces; the owner, Arascantus; a steve- 
dore emptying a sack; another stevedore with hand upraised ; and a filth 
person. It has two steering oars. 

There were the people who carried the wares of the great 
city; the boatmen who came from Ostia up the Tiber, 
the loaders and unloaders at the wharves and warehouses 
by the Aventine, the draymen and pushcarters who dis- 
tributed to the retail trade the cargoes from across the seas 
and the produce from Italian farm and garden. There 
were the cabmen and the chairmen and the muleteers and 
donkey drivers. 

Nor should the men be forgotten who kept the streets 
in condition and safe. There were the pavers and the 
cleaners, and there were the police, -called vigiles, who in- 
cluded also the firemen. In the time of Augustus there 


were some seven thousand five hundred police, a number 
comparable to the nine thousand of London. 

Finally, there was the household service: the janitor, 
the hall porter, the chambermaid, the lady's maid, the chil- 
dren's attendant or paedagogw, the steward, the cook, the 

If to the aristocratic and other distinguished callings 
described in earlier chapters we add the more ordinary- 
callings just considered, we are able to realize the variety 
of occupations and men that went to make up Living Rome. 
It remains to compare once more the ancient with the 

In the first place, a great share of the city's business 
was done by slaves and freedmen. From the common 
drudgery of the streets to the care of a consul's or an em- 
peror's household, there were few occupations in which the 
slave and the recently emancipated were not found. The 
professions of medicine and teaching and the fine arts were 
largely in the hands of men who had been slaves and who 
were still in the semi-independent position of the freedman 
who looked to his former master for protection and pat- 
ronage. It was only the governing class that was wholly 
composed of the freeborn and citizens, and in many in- 
stances the freedman or the slave was so influential with 
master or patron as to be substantially in control. The 
result of such surrender of the professions and arts to men of 
servile origin was a lack of respect for the professional call- 
ings themselves which must have impaired their effect and 
retarded their progress. 

In the second place, it is to be noted that the work of 
ancient Rome was done, not by machines, but by pairs of 
hands. The tasks that were done and the goods that were 
supplied were performed and supplied by the individual. 



This had two effects. One was that the Dumber of eon- 
tacts and the intimacy of man with man were greater. The 
city was full of small tradesmen and small artisans and 
special workers. From the shoemaker to the surgeon, 

learning was by apprentice- 
ship, and even in prepara- 
tion for law and public life 
there was something very 
like apprenticeship. The 
other effect was that the 
pace of life, however quick 
and nervous it seemed to 
a Juvenal, a Martial, or a 
Horace, was far more lei- 
surely than is the case in our 
age of mass manufacturing, 
mass training, rapid trans- 
it, and instantaneous com- 
munication. Yet neither 
slowness nor the human 
contact was peculiar to 
Rome or to Roman times. 
It is not more than a hun- 
dred years since the use 
of the apprentice was di- 
minished by the advent of 
the machine, and there are 
still nooks where the chain store and the factory and the 
professional and technical college do not function. 

In the third place, the work of the ancient world was 
not only minute, but the workers were minutely organized. 
For every occupation, from the unskilled to the highly skilled 
and intellectual^ the collegium, or guild, was the usual thing. 

The inscription reads : Marcus Antonius 
Trophimus, of the Augusta! priesthood, 
dealer in mantles at Puteoli and Naples, 
erected this monument to himself and to 
Julia Irene, his wife of rarest character, 
and to Antonia Jucundina, their daughter, 
and to their freedmen and freedwomen and 
their descendants, and to Julia Euphemia 
and her descendants. 


There is nothing more interesting in the life of Rome 
than the guilds, the collegia. When history begins, there 
are already eight of them in existence : the fullers, the cob- 
blers, the carpenters, the goldsmiths, the coppersmiths, the 
dyers, the potters, and the flute-blowers. The number 
multiplied until in the Empire it probably would have been 
difficult to find a worker unattached to one of them. There 
were the porters, the masons, the eastanet-players, the pas- 
tille-makers, the ragmen, the flask-makers, the bridle- 
makers, the cab drivers, the coopers, the stonecutters, the 
purple-dealers, the woolcombers, the plumbers, the pei- 
fume-sellers, the fruiterers, the pearl-dealers, the auctioneers, 
the leather-dealers, the bakers, the clothmakers, the wood- 
makers, the armorers, the artillerymen, the boatmen, the 
sailors, the ass drivers, the muleteers, the hornblowers, 
the porters, the pavers, the saltfish-dealers, the gladiators, 
the household slaves, the grocers, the tanners, the inn- 
keepers, the pallbearers, the hunters. Even the professions, 
such as medicine and the stage, had their guilds. There 
were the physicians, the actors, the oculists. There were 
guilds of various nationalities, of soldiers. For Rome alone, 
there are twenty-five hundred inscriptions known which 
indicate more than a hundred guilds, and there are inscrip- 
tions showing guilds in four hundred and seventy-five towns 
elsewhere. The bulk of this evidence belongs to times later 
than Caesar, Cicero, and Virgil, but conditions were different 
only in degree, and not greatly different even in that. 

The mention of these numerous guilds in t&e field of labor, 
variously referred to as colleges, clubs, associations, corpo- 
rations, or unions, naturally suggests the methods and 
purposes of organized labor in modern times. We should 
be wrong, however, if we concluded that the ancient guilds 
existed for the sake of a "labor" party or for the spreading 


Found in the Roman border fort at Newstead, near the River Tweed not far from 
Melrose in Scotland. The tongs are 16 and 18 inches long ; the hammers, 11 inches. 
No. 10 is an anvil, no. 7 a punch for Tn.fri>g holes in hot metal. 


of a " labor" gospel. There was a quarrel in 43 B.C. be- 
tween the union and nonunion pallbearers, but beyond 
this the question of the open shop in ancient Rome does 
not appear. The withdrawals of the plebeians to the Sacred 
Mount outside the city and to the Aventine in the early 
Republic were in the nature of general strikes, but their 
purpose was the winning of civic rights rather than the im- 
provement of labor conditions. There is evidence of an 
outbreak of the workers in the mint and the death of seven 
thousand people in the disorder, but this is an isolated occur- 
rence dating from the time of Aurelian, A.D. 270-276, and 
could hardly have been a strike in the usual sense. 


From left to right: treading the new-made cloth in water, to remove ril t -nJ 
cleanser ; carding or combing to bring out the nap, which was sheared dou n ; in- 
spection ; folding. From a wall painting in the house of the Vettii, Pompeii. 

It is possible that in the earlier times of the Republic 
the guilds were an attempt at exclusiveness and trade pro- 
tection, but their great purpose at all times, so far as may be 
judged, was the very natural one of human solidarity. The 
members of the guild met and ate and drank together, ex- 
changed ideas, perhaps on occasion did something to im- 
prove the conditions of their calling, agreed on mutual 
support in certain matters, and in general felt the glow of 
sympathetic fellowship. There were officers elected; we 
hear of patres, tribuni, fratres, sorores, magistri, curatores, 
praefecti, titles which suggest imitation of a city gov- 
ernment. No doubt the flatteries of self that were felt 


so that there was no one in the city to furnish music at the sacri- 
fices. The Senate, constrained by respect for religion, despatched 
envoys to Tibur to arrange for the men's being returned to the 
Romans. The citizens of Tibur, having good-naturedly promised 
the favor, summoned the players to their council chamber and 
urged them to return to Rome ; but, finding that they could not 
be prevailed upon, adopted a plan of dealing with them which was 
quite consistent with human nature. Choosing a holiday, they 
invited them variously to various houses on the pretext of wanting 
music for the banquets of the day, filled them with wine, of which 
their class is very fond, threw them in their drunken sleep into 
wagons, and carried them off to Rome. They did not come to theu 
senses until the wagons had been left in the Forum and the dawr 
overtook them still in their drunken state." 


In our account of the many occupations having to do with 
the life and living of Rome, no mention has been made of the 
country Roman ; and yet the farmer, the gardener, the fruit 
grower, and the shepherd of Latium were for the early cen- 
turies at the very base of the city's sustenance and comfort. 

It is true, of course, that the farmer does not live in the 
city; and it is true also that Rome by the time of Cicero 
was a city of over half a million surrounded by acres whose 
produce was but a trifle in the feeding and clothing of its 
citizens. The acres which supported it had for a long time 
been far away at first in Italian fields beyond the moun- 
tains that circled the Latin plain j then, in Sardinia and 
Sicily ; still later, in Africa and Spain and Gaul and Egypt. 
But there had been a time when the lands that lay about 
the capital were intimately connected with the city and 
shared its life, and when to think of the State was to think 
of the landed properties and their owners outside the gates 
as well as of the teeming streets of the city. 

The Roman State in origin was a commonwealth of 
shepherds and farmers, and it was not until it was well on 
in the conquest of the outside world that it ceased to retain 
a rustic character, and ceased to have what might be called 
a peasant aristocracy. Nor would it be right to suppose that 
even in the days of the emperors, when the active cultivation 
of the Campagna was long in the past and its acres given up 
to the large estate and the rich man's villas, there was no 




connection between the city and the country. The landed 
estate never ceased to be held in esteem as the least sordid 
and the most dignified of the forms of holding property. 
Whatever the fate of the Campagna as an agricultural area, 

The precise nature of planting garden, vineyard, and orchard is to be noted. 

Italy herself was as much the garden of the world in the time 
of Virgil and Horace as it was in the time of Byron and is 

Partly, then, because the bond between Rome and the soil 
has always been close, but especially because of their intimate 
union in the earlier times of the Roman Republic, to include 


the fanner among the men of Living Rome is not only appro- 
priate but necessary. 

The memory of those earlier times was vivid still in Cicero's 
day. " The senators in those days lived in the fields/ 7 he 
has old Cato say, in De Senectute; " because Lucius Quinc- 
this Cincinnatus was at the plow when the message came 
that he had been elected dictator. . . . Curius and the other 
elders used to be summoned to meetings of the Senate from 
their villas, and that is why those who served the summons 
were called viatores. ... It was when Curius was sitting 
at his fireside that the Samnites offering him a great sum of 
gold were repulsed." 

The words in which Cato is made to express in the same 
essay his love of life on the soil will make a fitting introduction 
to the ancient fanner's life : 

" Could old age be called pitiable in these men, who found joy in 
the cultivation of their acres? Really, ta my thinking, one could 
hardly conceive of an old age happier than this, not only in the 
service it renders, because the tillage of the soil is beneficial to all 
mankind, but also in the delight of which I have spoken, and in 
the fulness and abundance of everything necessary to the life of 
men and the worship of the gods. . . . For the capable and careful 
owner always has his wine cellar and oil cellar and granary as full 
as can be ; the whole farmhouse is richly supplied, and abounds 
in pork, kid, lamb, fowl, milk, cheese, and honey. And then there 
is the garden, which the farmer calls his second meat supply ; and 
all these things I mention are made more savory still by bird snar- 
ing and hunting in unoccupied hours. Why should I go on to 
speak of the green meadows or the rows of trees or the beauty of 
the vineyard and the olive grove?" 

To these words could be added the praise of Virgil for the 
f ruitf ulness of his native land : 


'There is no cessation. The year is always rich either in the 
fruits of the orchard, or in the increase of the flocks, or in sheaves 


of corn, the gift of Ceres ; it burdens the plowed fields with in- 
crease and exceeds the bounds of the granary. . . . The Sicyo- 
nian olive is bruised in the mill, the swine come home glad from 
their acorns, the wood yields its fruitage of arbute berries ; and 
autumn lays her varied fruitage at his feet, and aloft on the sunny 
rocks the gentle grape is ripening for the vintage." 

"But fruitful vines, and the fat olive's freight, 
And harvests heavy with their fruitful weight, 
Adorn our fields ; and on the cheerful green 
The grazing flocks and lowing herds are seen. . . . 
Perpetual spring our happy climate sees, 
Twice breed the cattle, and twice bear the trees, 
And summer suns recede by slow degrees." 

Horace and Tibullus are as much in love with Italy as 
Virgil. " Golden Plenty from a full horn is pouring forth 
her fruits upon Italy," is Horace's description of the year as 
he writes to Iccius. What more charming picture of the 
countryside is there than his second Epode f 

"And so he either weds the tall poplars with the fullgrown trail- 
ers of the vine, or in the secluded vale looks forth upon his wander- 
ing flocks, or prunes away with his hook the useless branches and 
grafts more fruitful ones in their places, or stores away in the fresh 
jars the honey pressed from the comb, or shears his helpless sheep. 
Or, when Autumn rears from the fields her head decorous with 
mellow fruits, how happy he is as he takes from the tree the grafted 
pear, and from the vine the grape cluster vying with the purple ! " 

But the beauty and fruitf ulness of Italy require no proof. 
Let us pass from poetry to the practical, and attempt to look 
upon the land as it produces, and upon the fanner at his 

In modern Italy there are three methods of managing the 
land. In North Italy, in the great plain of the Po, the farms 
approximate in size the American farms of a hundred acres 
to a quarter section, and are either rented or owned by the 



farmer living on the estate. In South Italy and Sicily, the 
land is in large holdings owned by absentee landlords and 
much neglected. In Central Italy the average holding is 
about forty acres, and is rented for so long a time as prac- 
tically to amount to ownership, in the system called 
mezzadria, or halving ; the tenant receiving half of everything 

This picturesque village is on the east side of the Apennines near Ancona. 

produced. The farm of Central Italy is not so large but that 
its work will all be done by the tenant and his wife and chil- 
dren, with occasional exchange of work with neighbors. In 
France the system is called m&uyer. 

The ancient fanner as he appears in the pleasant pictures 
of the poets, and also as he is seen in the more sober pages 
of Cato's On Agriculture, or of Varro's On Farming, or of 


Columella's twelve books, the tenth of which is in verse, has 
much to remind us of modern Italy, and, above all, of Central 
Italy. Let us look at him and his affairs in Cato's page. 
It will tell us indirectly as well as directly much about the 
[Roman husbandman. 

The farm of a hundred iugera, or about sixty-six acres, 
says Cato, should consist of a good vineyard, a garden that 
can be irrigated, an osier bed, an olive orchard, a meadow, 
a grain field, a bit of woodland, an orchard, and an acorn 
grove. It should have buildings well constructed, large oil 
cellars and wine vats, and plenty of casks to provide storage 
in case of the need to wait for better prices. There should 
be elms along the road and by the hedges. The wood will 
come bandy, and the leaves may be stripped for the oxen and 
sheep. The vines must be wedded to the trees. 

The size of this estate and its variety of products are 
strongly suggestive of the Tuscan farm of to-day. The 
wedding of the vine to the elm which Cato recommends is a 
charming figure, just as appropriate now as two hundred 
years before Christ. Who ever forgets his journeyings in 
Italy through fields in which rectangles of garden and golden 
grain stretch endlessly between rows of fronded elms fes- 
tooned from tree to tree with swinging green vines already 
heavy with promise? 

And here is the olive farm of a hundred and sixty acres, 
which is fitted out with overseer, housekeeper, five field 
hands, three ox drivers, one ass driver, and one shepherd ; 
and with three yoke of oxen, three asses with paniers for 
carrying manure, an ass for the mill, and a hundred sheep. 
The overseer must be the first up and the last to bed, and the 
housekeeper must be no gossip or gadabout, but keep the 
house and hearth well swept, and have plenty of chickens 
and eggs and preserves. The slaves are to have meal, 


bread, figs, olives, wine, pickles and vinegar, salt, and cloth- 
ing in specified quantities. A peck of salt is enough for 
the year. 

"If an ox begins to ail, give him right away one hen's egg raw; 
make him swallow it whole. The day after, pound up the head of 
a leek with a half pint of wine and make him drink it. Pound up 
standing on your feet and give from a wooden container, and have 
the ox himself and the one who gives the dose be on their feet. 
You must be fasting when you give it, and the ox when he takes 
it. ... 

"Make your threshing-floor this way. Dig out the place where 
you are going to make it. Afterward, sprinkle it with olive 
dregs and let the ground soak well. Afterward, pulverize well 
the lumps. Then level off and tamp down with beaters. After- 
ward, sprinkle again and let dry. If you do it this fashion, ants will 
not damage it nor grass grow up in it. ... 

"If you have a dislocation, you can cure it with this charm. 
Pake a green reed four or five feet long, cut it in two and have two 
persons hold the parts to your hip bones. Begin to chant, daries- 
dardaries-astataries-disBunapiter [a nonsense rhythm], and at the 
same time try until they come together. . . . Wave a knife above 
them. When they have come together and the one touches the 
other, take the knife in your hand and cut the pieces to right and 
left, bind them on the dislocation or fracture, and it will be cured. 
But repeat every day this incantation, or the following in place of 
it, hua^haua^-huat, ista-pista-sista, dannabo-dannawtra. ..." 

Here is Cato's recipe for cheese cake. Mash up two 
pounds of cheese, pour in a pound of corn meal, or a: half 
pound of flour, and mix well with the cheese. Add an egg, 
and beat it well. Pat into a cake, place on leaves under a 
dish on a hot hearthstone, and bake slowly. 

The care of oxen and wagons, the harvest of the olive and 
the Tnglririg of the oil, the vintage, and the treatment of 
slaves, axe other themes in the simply and roughly written 


treatise of Cato. Its homely wisdom, its intensely practical 
spirit, its mixture of common sense and superstition, repre- 
sent well the character of the small fanner in Italy, ancient 
and modern. His knowledge and practice do not depend on 
books or institutions of learning, but on the experience 
handed down from generation to generation on the same 

The basis of Cato's experience was his own estate on the 
slopes of the Alban Hills near Tusculum. The town of 
Monte Porzio Catone, where 

"Up rose the golden morning 
Over the Porcian height," 

in Macaulay's Lay, whether the name means anything or not 
as to place, is not distant from his holding. Olive, vine, and 
garden are rich on the rounded hillsides, and the more level 
fields of the Campagna floor are near. The farming of Cato 
was that of Central Italy. 

The manner of such farming changed little during the 
centuries. Two farmers' calendars of the later Empire 
giving the data for each month would have served as well 
in the time of Cato, except for the different number of days 
they give certain months. If the truth were known, they 
would probably be found the direct descendants of almanacs 
in the Censor's day. They axe bronze cubes, containing 
three months in three columns on each vertical side, with the 
signs of the zodiac heading the columns. Below the sign for 
each month are the numerical data regarding days and hours, 
the names of the sign and the patron deity, the special farm 
activities of the season, and the appropriate religious observ- 
ance. The month of January in the Menologium Rusticum 
Colottanum, for example, reads : 


















But the modest estate of the rigid old patriot was not 
the only sort. There were also the great plantations a:id 
ranches in other parts of Italy and in the provinces where 
lands were ampler. Flavius Vopiscus, a writer of much 
later times, tells of an estate with 500 slaves, 2,000 cattle, 
1,000 horses, 10,000 sheep, and 15,000 goats. Pliny, in the 
first century, mentions one with 4,117 slaves, 3,600 yoke of 
oxen, and 257,000 other beasts. These were great contrasts 
with the farms of Cato's neighborhood, or the Sabine Farm 
of Horace, which the poet says " sent its five good fathers to 
Varia," meaning the five overseers or tenants in charge; 
or the home of Martial's country friend so appreciatively 
described a hundred years after Horace : 

"In every corner grain is stacked, 
Old wines in fragrant jars are packed : 
About the farmyard gabbling gander 
And spangled peacock freely wander : 
With pheasant and flamingo prowl 
Partridge and speckled guinea-fowl : 
Pigeon and waxen turtle-dove 
Rustle their wings in cotes above. 


The farm-wife's apron draws a rout 
Of greedy porkers round about ; 
And eagerly the tender lamb 
Waits the filled udder of its dam. 
With plenteous logs the hearth is bright, 
The household Gods glow in the light, 
And baby slaves are sprawling round. 
No town-bred idlers here are found." 

It would be interesting to follow up in Marcus Terentius 
Varro's On Farming the various activities already described 
by Cato but not at length. Varro makes us better ac- 
quainted with the details of equipment and operation ; with 
the seasons, and the work best adapted to each ; with plant- 
ing, cultivating, harvest, and garnering ; with the technique 
of livestock breeding, and of bees, and of domestic and wild 
fowl. Much might be said also of the vicissitudes of the soil 
and its tillers from the days of the peasant aristocrat, whose 
last example of note was Cato, through the times of large 
estates which Pliny the Elder called the ruin of Italy, to the 
later centuries when the tillage of the soil was a serfdom, 
large parts of the country were malarial, and the miseries 
and unsafety of the Dark Ages were approaching. 

But Italy and agriculture are everlasting, and through all 
the centuries and in all the authors we should find the eternal 
verities of life in the unchanging country. Let us rather be 
content with a few paragraphs on the most characteristic 
products of the ancient Italian farm. 

First, there was the grain, principally wheat. In spite of 
what is usually said of the importation of grain and the 
cheapening of Italian wheat, it is unlikely that the Italian 
f aimer did not grow wheat for his own need and for the 
neighboring market. In its production, we must imagine 
the same processes which are to be seen to-day in the little 
villages and plains of Italy. The plowing was done with the 


ox, and the plow made of a beam from the woodlands. The 
reaping was done with the sickle, and all the household went 
to the field, with perhaps the neighbors. The threshing was 
done with the flail, or with horses or oxen trampling the grain 
on the circular threshing floor. " Thou shalt not muzzle the 
mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn." The trampling 
or flailing done, the mingled straw and chaff and wheat were 
tossed in the wind with the winnowing fan until the grain was 
ready for the sack and the granary. "Whose fan is in his 
hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather 
the wheat into his garner ; but the chaff he will burn with 
fire unquenchable." 

In the second place, there were the fruits and the vege- 
tables, always easy to grow in Italy, and with no foreign 
market to fear. In Roman times there were no express 
trains and refrigerator cars for the transportation of perish- 
ables to another country. 

But the richest resources of the peninsula were the olive, 
the grape, and the products of meadow and pasture. The 
change from small to large estates had no effect on these, 
unless it was to encourage them. 

The olive, not native to Italy, was introduced from Greece. 
It was prepared in brine or vinegar in various ways, but its 
great use was for oil oil as food, oil as fuel in lamps, oil as 
the basis of unguent and perfume. Gathered by picking late 
in autumn, the berries were allowed to mellow for a few days 
in heaps, and then crushed in the olive miTT of hard, rough 
stones revolved by donkey power. The pulp thus formed 
was then pressed, the oil allowed to settle in the jars that 
caught it, and ladled off into other jars for sale or storage. 
The modern yield of oil in Italy is upward of fifty million 
gallons a year, from over five million acres, or about one 
fifteenth the peninsula, and is one of the chief exports. The 


groves are found on many a mountain side which would 
hardly serve another purpose. In ancient times, the invader 
in time of war was always a threat to the olive orchard 
because its laying waste meant the loss of income for many 

The crusher was revolved by hand, and ground the pulp and the stones together. 

The grape, like the olive, was introduced from Greece at 
an early time. It was eaten as fresh fruit and dried as the 
raisin, but chiefly used in the form of wine. In the early 
Republic, when Italy was producing a full grain supply, the 
demand for wine had to be met in part by importation from 
southern Italy and Greece, but by A.B. 81 there were so 
many vineyards that a limit to their planting was set because 


of agricultural needs. The varieties most mentioned in Latin 
authors are the Formian, the Falernian, the Massic, and the 
Caecuban, all produced on the west coast about a hundred 
miles south of Rome. A century after Horace's birth, there 
were eighty-five wines, and the Italian product was sent to 
distant countries. To-day the annual yield of wine is about 
three quarters of a billion gallons, and wine is an export of 
great consequence. About one seventh of Italy is planted 
with the vine. 

The vineyard could be either on the southward-facing hill- 
side or in the plain. For support, there were the elms, kept 
fairly small by trimming back, and prevented, by the same 
means and by stripping of the leaves, from intercepting too 
much sunshine; and there was the trellis made of cane. 
Both methods are still in use. The vineyards that cover the 
dopes of the Alban Hills like a great green garment consist 
of endless rows of vines rearing themselves to catch the sun 
on cane arrangements that look like stacked muskets. The 
branches clamber from stack to stack on other cane laid 
horizontally. With either method, the ground must be 
frequently worked. 

The vintage, in late September or October, was a busy and 
a genial season. The grapes were gathered, in the case of the 
elms by the aid of ladders, and carried in baskets and carts to 
the treading vat, where bare feet crushed them to a juicy 
mass. The press received them next, operated either with 
windlass turned by levers or with the use of wedges driven by 
mallets. The juice, drained into great terra cotta jars that 
held a hundred gallons and were half embedded in the floor of 
the storeroom, was left uncovered for several days until 
fermentation was complete, and then, after final expert treat- 
ment, sealed in the proper amphorae and stored foi the 



One more permanent feature in the life of Italy must be 
mentioned its animals: the sheep, the cattle, and the 
goats, that furnished the wool, the leather, the mutton and 
beef and kid, the milk, and the cheeses that no doubt existed 
in as many varieties then as they do now. Nothing in Italy 
to-day is more striking than the beautiful cattle with im- 
mensely spreading horns, black muzzle, great liquid eyes. 


and silvery-gray or white flanks. They were there at least 
in the time of Trajan, who is said to have brought them from 
Pannonia, and perhaps they were the albi greges of Virgil, the 
white herds of the Clitumnus. If the gods must have their 
sacrifice, no nobler victim can be imagined. The poet 
Carducci found in the ox the inspiration for a magnificent 

"I love thee, pious ox ; a gentle feeling 
Of vigor and of peace thou giv'st my heart. 
How solemn, like a monument, thou art ! 
Over wide fertile fields thy calm gaze stealing, 


Unto the yoke with grave contentment kneeling, 
To man's quick work thou dost thy strength impart. 
He shouts and goads, and answering thy smart, 
Thou turn'st on him thy patient eyes appealing. 

"From thy broad nostrils, black and wet, arise 
Thy breath's soft fumes, and on the still air swells, 
Like happy hymn, thy lowing's mellow strain. 
In the grave sweetness of thy tranquil eyes 
Of emerald, broad and still, reflected dwells 
All the divine green silence of the plain." 

Nowhere better than in the unchanging country can one 
feel the permanence of human affairs and the nearness of 
ancient Roman days. The Tuscany of to-day is the Etruria 
of yesterday. The life of Virgil's Georgics is the life of the 
Italian countryside to-day. Let us listen to an Italian- 
born essayist, Charles W. Leninoi. 

"To me the Georgics are not ancient literature; they are the 
record of my boyhood and youth. . . . Turn, now, and look. 
Two huge, snow-white oxen, their spreading horns garlanded with 
red tassels, are bending to the creaking plow, breathing mightily. 
Stooping over the plow-handle, a brown-clad figure struggles after, 
with uneven steps, in the lengthening furrow. Behind him, an old 
man, white of hair and beard, with sweeping gesture and steady 
stride, scatters the grain from the basket on his arm. Oh, do you 
not know, as you look, that you are in Virgil's country? Do you 
not remember? 

'In the birth-tide of spring, when melt from the moun- 
tains the ice and the snow, 

And the crumbling clods are breaking down as the west 
winds blow, 

Then let the bull begin to groan at the plow deep thrust 
as he strains. 7 

Do you not remember? Come and see; nothing has changed. 
"The old man smiles gravely as we approach ; the young plow- 
man straightens up, and w'th a rough grace pulls off hi? battered 



hat. Look, it is the same wooden plow as of old. . . . ' Questo 
e 1'aratro, 3 says the old man, smiling. c Questo & il timone. Questo, 
la stiva. Quellif I bovi, sono.' To be sure. Hoc est aratrum. 
Hie est temo. Haec stiva. Illi boves sunt. We know them all, I 
warrant you. Plow and pole and handle and oxen ; we know them 
all. When was it yesterday, that Virgil described them to 
us? ... 

* ". 

' '*''> 

IL '..>. -v '^ 


The simple plow sometimes found where little ground is cultivated. It is prac- 
tically the same as that described in Virgil's Oeorgics. 

"Still as of old, a red moon is of evil omen ; still the new moon 
betokens rainy weather when it clasps the old moon in its arms ; 
tiie countryman still rejoices when the stars shine clear and sharp. 
Unquestioning faith in what tradition teaches that is the plow- 
man's credo ; that, the reaper's. Science may smile, but when 
the moon is waning, the sower sows no grain. . . . They have no 
doubts ; their philosophy is immemorial tradition. As Cato and 
Virgil cultivated their fields, so do they cultivate theirs." 


We have surveyed the chief occupations that went to make 
up the total of Living Rome. By way of summary, and for 
the purpose of lending reality to our survey, it will be of 
advantage now to contemplate the lives and characters of a 
number of actual Romans. Let us look briefly at Cicero, the 
public man and orator ; at Caesar, the soldier and statesman ; 
at Horace and Virgil, poets from the South and North ; and 
at Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher at the head of the State. 

Marcus Tullius Cicero was born on January 3, 106 B.C., 
in a charming valley of the Apennines about seventy-five 
miles to the southeast of Rome. The Cicero home was afc 
the point where the little Fibrenus flowed into the Liris, a 
swift stream that to-day turns many mills. Three miles 
away, and high on the rocks, was Arpinum, then as to-day the 
chief city of the neighborhood. Much running water, fre- 
quent rains, a mild climate, and the sheltered location, make 
the valley a paradise of foliage and flowers. 

Marcus Tullius Cicero the father and Marcus Tullius 
Cicero the grandfather complete the Cicero ancestry so far 
as known, and Marcus Tullius Cicero the orator's son will 
bring the line to an end. The name Tullius suggests a jet of 
water ; the name of Cicero, as we have seen, a chickpea, or a 
facial blemish resembling one. The family belongs to the 
equestrian order, the modest home is an older house 
improved, the father is not robust and is devoted to letters. 
Helvia, the mother, is of respected family and a thrifty house- 




hold mistress. The people of Arpinum have been Roman 
citizens since 188 B.C. The near-by town of Sora is the 
birthplace of heroes : of Regulus, who kept his word and re- 
turned to Carthage to die; of Decius, who rode into the 
battle and voluntarily sacrificed his life to bring victory to the 

Roman army; of Marius, a 
distant connection of the 
Ciceros, who drove back the 
Teutons and Cimbri when 
Cicero was five years old. 

Of the little boy Cicero 
nothing is known. He may 
be imagined about the house 
with his father and mother or 
at a neighboring school, learn- 
ing the usual things. At ten 
or twelve, he may be imagined 
in Rome, perhaps at the house 
of an uncle, Aculeo. He has 
been brought to the capital 
to receive in more stimulating 
surroundings the best educa- 
tion possible. It includes Greek as well as his native tongue, 
and its aim is cultural as well as practical, but La the back- 
ground of it all is the practical ambition of turning it to 
account in the career that leads to the consulship. About 
him in the streets and in the Forum, in the courts and on 
the Capitol, in the houses of his uncle and his father's friends, 
the eager young student sees the prominent men of Rome 
foremost among them the urbane Crassus and the direct 
and vigorous Antonius, both about forty-five and at the 
height of their fame as pleaders. 
After taking the toga of manhood, the sixteen-year-old 



Cicero was introduced by his father to Quintus Mucius 
Scaevola, the most learned lawyer of the time, at whose con- 
sultations, decisions, and discussions he never missed an 
opportunity to be present. This Scaevola was an augur, and 
on his death in about 88 B.C. Cicero began to follow Scaevola 
the Pontif ex Maximus in the same manner. In this year he 
also studied under Molo of Rhodes, a famous teacher of 
oratory who was visiting Rome. Philo of Athens and 
Diodotus the Stoic were other teachers of his youth. 

In the midst of these studies, the war between Rome and 
the Italian subjects demanding citizenship broke out, and 
Cicero spent the year 89 B.C. in the field. It may be supposed 
that this experience broadened and deepened his character 
and by the quickening of the manly faculties more than 
compensated for loss of time from study. 

The civil war between Marius and Sulla from 88-83 B.C., 
and the dictatorship of Sulla from 83-78 B.C., kept Rome in a 
state of uncertainty, but Cicero's preparation did not halt. 
In 81 B.C., at the age of twenty-five, he delivered in a civil 
case the first of his orations which has been preserved. In 
80 B.C., he won the case for Roscius, falsely charged by a 
prot6g6 of Sulla with murder. This won him a reputation 
for courage, besides recognition as an orator, but also alarmed 
his friends, who warned him of Sulla's displeasure. Partly as 
a measure of caution, partly because of physical weakness, 
but mostly for the sake of further study and training, Cicero 
left Rome for the East. First spending six months at 
Athens in study with Antiochus the philosopher, he visited 
and received instruction from all the teachers of repute in 
the province of Asia, and concluded the tour by studying 
again with Molo of Rhodes, who had instructed him in 

After his return to Rome in 77 B.C. at the age of twenty- 


nine, with his formal education completed, Cicero married 
Terentia. Sulla was dead, and the State, for the time at 
least, at peace. The young orator began actively to realize 
his ambitions. He was quaestor in 75 B.C. in the western 
half of Sicily, was prompt in his handling of the grain supply 
to Rome, and won the confidence of the Sicilians. Return- 
ing to Rome in 74 B.C., he took the seat in the Senate to which 
the year of the quaestorship entitled him, and went on with 
his career in the courts, winning among others the case for 
the Sicilians against Verres, the unscrupulous praetor of 
Syracuse from 73-70 B.C. In 69 B.C. he held the aedileship. 
In 66 B.C. he held the praetorship, and in 65 B.C. might have 
been, had he not preferred his life and calling in Rome, the 
governor of a province and a rich man. In 63 B.C. he at- 
tained to the consulship, the highest office in the cursus 

Natural talent and character, aided somewhat by the need 
of the senatorial party for a safe and able candidate, had 
brought Cicero to the peak of his ambition. The triumph 
was the greater because he was the second novus homo in the 
consulship for three generations ; that is, he was the second 
man not of patrician blood in three generations to hold the 
consulship. Marius was the first, winning by reason of mili- 
tary genius what Cicero won through genius as an orator 
and through personal quality. 

The remaining twenty years of Cicero's life were uncer- 
tain, varied, and trying. The execution of the conspirators 
in 63 B.C. resulted in his exile in 58 B.C., a blow that caused 
him the intensest suffering. He was elected augur in 52 B.C., 
was governor of Cilicia in 51 B.C. with a record for just and 
capable administration, was placed in charge of Campania 
by Pompey in 49 B.C. when Caesar marched on Rome, and 
for the last year of his life was the leader of the Senate and 


the defenders of the old regime. His great ambition to keep 
the senatorial and equestrian orders united as the ideal party, 
his ability as lawyer and orator, and his sense of justice, made 
him throughout an influential factor in every effort to pre- 
serve the Republic. 

A strenuous political life, however, did not claim all of 
Cicero's time and interest. He continued his active life as 
advocate. Above all, he continued the intellectual and 
literary life. His letters fill two large and closely printed 
volumes, a golden treasury of information and of the senti- 
ment of the times. He transmitted in his essays the phi- 
losophy of the Greeks whom he admired. He wrote f oui 
books on ethics, which are among the world's most enlight- 
ened utterances on conduct. He wrote the immortal essays 
On Old Age and On Friendship. He left several works or 
rhetoric and the orators, and the treatises On the Republic 
and On the Laws. All these, with the Orations, form a body 
not only of eloquence but of information which would be 
difficult to match in the life of any mart in history. In the 
end, on December 7 of the year 43 B.C., at the age of sixty- 
three, he was deprived of life by the agents of Mark Antony, 
the ma.n against whom he had stood as the leader of the 
Government in its last days. 

The life of Cicero is exceptional in many respects : in his 
rise from the position of an ordinary provincial to the consul- 
ship and augurship ; in the ideal nature of the preparation 
for his life work; in his comparative independence of mili- 
tary connections ; in the disinterested character of his pro- 
vincial administration ; in the general purity of his life and 
motives; in his vivid and lifelong intellectual curiosity; in 
his genius as master of the spoken and written word. Yet all 
this is a matter of degree, and does not prevent our seeing 
in him an illustration of the general content of the Roman 



public career : in education, in the holding of the ofPces of 
the cursus, in the connection with law and hie courts, in 
oratory, in provincial service, in the soldier's experience, in 
devotion to the life of the State. 

With Cicero's life as background, the career of Caesar may- 
be surveyed in fewer words. Born in Rome, of patrician 

blood and cf prominent fam- 
ily, he is without the handi- 
caps of Cicero. If we accept 
with Mommsen the date of his 
birch as 102 B.C., he assumed 
the manly toga at fifteen and 
was married at sixteen to 
Cornelia, daughter of Sulla's 
enemy, Cinna. At twenty, 
ordered to divorce her, in de- 
fiance he flees into Samnium, 
but is later allowed to come 
back. At twenty-one, he 
joins the army in the East, 
and at twenty-two is deco- 
rated with the civic crown 
for saving a citizen's life. 
At twenty-four, he is with Servilius Isauricus against the 
Mediterranean pirates. On the news of Sulla's death in 78 
B.C., he returns to Rome. He loses his first cases at law, 
goes to Rhodes for training by Molo, on the way has an ad- 
venture with the pirates, who first capture him and then are 
captured by him, and is back in Rome in 74 B.C., at the age 
of twenty-eight. In 70 B.C. he probably is concerned with 
the political defeat of the senatorial party which was formed 
by Sulla. In 69 B.C. he is elected quaestor, and in 68 B.C., 
at thirty-four, discharges the duties of that office in Spain, 



In 65 B.C. he is aedile and spends upwards of $800,000, on 
one occasion providing 320 pairs of gladiators for a people's 
entertainment. In 63 B.C. he is made pontifex maximus and 
takes part in the deliberations on the case of the conspirators ; 
in 62 B.C. he is praetor, and in 61 B.C. governor of Spain ; and 
in 60 B.C. is elected consul, giving up a triumph in order to 
run for the office, which he holds in 59 B.C. For the next 
ten years he is in Gaul. In 49 B.C. he begins the civil war 
which results in the death of Pompey, the defeat of the sena- 
torial armies in the East, in Africa, and in Spain, and on 
March 15 of the year 44 B.C., in the midst of reforms and 
plans for further conquest, is slain at a meeting of the Senate. 

This is the career in which the military element pre- 
dominates. Let us now survey two lives of the quieter type. 

Quintus Horatius Flaccus was born in Venusia, in the 
southeastern part of Italy, on December 8, 65 B.C. His 
father, once a slave, had been freed before Horace's birth, 
and was engaged in a humble calling. From Venusia, where 
there was only the little school attended by the sons of the 
centurions in the garrison, and their like, he took his son 
to Rome for an education that should be the equal of that 
enjoyed by sons of the equites and senators. He went 
farther, and sent Horace at the age of twenty to Athens, 
where he began his studies in the usual courses of philosophy, 
mathematics, etc. In the midst of these studies, however, 
came the news of Caesar's assassination, and, not long 
after, Brutus himself arrived and began to interest young 
Romans in the cause of the liberators. 

Horace joined the patriot army, was made tribune, fought 
in the defeat at Philippi in 42 B.C., and in the course of time 
found himself in Rome with property confiscated and no pros- 
pect in the world. He was given a place as clerk in the 
treasury, attracted attention by his talent for writing, gob 



acquainted with Virgil and Varius, and was introduced by 
them to Augustus' friend and counselor, Maecenas, who 
gave him at the age of thirty-two the Sabine Farm, thirty 
miles from Rome in the high and secluded valley of the 
Digentia. He began to write poems at about twenty-four, 
and his first volume of Satires, published at thirty, was soon 

followed by a second book of 
Satires and the Epodes. At 
forty-two he published three 
books of Odes, at forty-five a 
book of Epistles, at fifty-two 
a fourth book of Odes, and at 
fifty-five a second book of 
Epistles. On November 27th 
of the year 8 B.C. he died, and 
was buried on the Esquiline 

Horace was not patrician, 
and belonged neither to sena- 
torial nor to equestrian order. 
His was a life with no ambi- 
tion for oratory, no running 

This bust is labelled Pompeius Mag- f or office, no soldiering except 
nus, but August Mau thought it repre- by accident, no straining after 

sentedQuintusHoratiusHaccus. ^^ ^ ^ ^^ ^^ 

Yet it was a life of much experience and many contacts of 
country village beginnings, of excellent education, of study 
abroad, of army experience in a lost cause, of bureaucratic 
occupation, of acquaintance with the best men of the Au- 
gustan State. 

Virgil, too, was of plebeian rank, and born far away from 
Rome, at Andes, probably near modern Pietole, three miles 
from Mantua, on October 15, 70 B.C.: but his father, a 



common laborer or a potter who married his employer's 
daughter and made his home in the country, sent his son to 
school in Cremona at the age of twelve, to Milan at the age 
of sixteen, and finally to Rome. Virgil was thus later than 
Horace in his arrival at the capital, and richer in provincial 
and country experience. His studies in Rome were chiefly 
rhetorical, the usual preparation for the civic career, at which 
he aimed. A dubious account names his teacher as Epidius, 
and calls Epidius also the teacher of Octavius, the future 
emperor. In his twenty-first year, it is possible that the 
poet was enrolled in Caesar's army, whose strength was 
drawn largely from Cisalpine Gaul, where Virgil had lived. 

When Virgil came to enter on his chosen profession as 
advocate, he appeared in court once, lost his case, and gave 
up the ambition for public life. Leaving Rome at about the 
age of twenty-two, he went to study with Siro, an Epicurean 
philosopher of repute, at Naples, where he had as friends 
three distinguished young men, Plotius Tucca, Varius, and 
Quintilius Varus. He spent little time after this in the 
capital, preferring the region about Naples, where most of 
his writing was done. When the confiscations of land took 
place after the battle of Philippi, his property in the Mantuan 
region was taken to be given the veterans of Antony. An 
appeal to Caesar not only brought a restoration of his land, 
but led to intimacies with the young Augustus and his 
friends. Maecenas became his patron, and in 38 B.C. on 
Virgil's introduction became the patron of Horace also. 

Relieved, like Horace, of the cares of earning a livelihood, 
Virgil devoted himself to the poetry which had already been 
his passion for ten years or more, and which Augustus and 
Maecenas were shrewd enough to see would be an asset in 
their work of reconstructing the Roman State. He had 
written from early youth, but his genius did not mature early 



By the time he published the Eclogues, or Bucolics, which 
established his reputation, he was thirty-three. These ten 
pastorals were imitations of Theocritus, who lived three 
centuries before, but full of the charm of Italy. At the age 
of forty, he had completed the Georgics, four books filled 
with praise of Italy and the love of nature. For the next 

eleven years he was occupied 
with the Aeneid, which was 
still unfinished when he be- 
came ill on a visit to Greece 
and died in Brundisium on 
the way home. 

Virgil was buried at Naples, 
in or near which he had lived 
for more than twenty years. 
He was tall and dark, of a 
rustic look, delicate in health, 
diffident and retiring, and 
slow of speech. The Aeneid, 
with which he was not satis- 
fied and which he wished de- 
stroyed, was placed by the 
Emperor in the hands of 
Varius and Tucca, and published in 17 B.C., two years after 
his death, substantially as he left it. 

The last portrait will afford a contrast. Marcus Aurelius 
Antoninus, born in Rome on April 26, A.D. 121, was the son 
of the praetor Annius Verus, and the nephew and adopted 
son of the Emperor Antoninus Pius. Surrounded by relar 
tives and teachers of excellent character, he had an ideal rear- 
ing and education. Herodes Atticus and Cornelius Fronto 
taught hi rhetoric, a distinguished jurist taught him law, 
and among his teachers of philosophy were Sextus of Chae- 



roneia, grandson of Plutarch, and Junius Rusticus, his adviser 
when he came to the throne. For these and for others, the 
Emperor in his Meditations thanks the gods. He was an 
earnest student and a hard worker, abstemious and self- 
denying, even to the damage of his health. He was at home 
with arms and in the law. At twenty-five he married 
Faustina, the daughter of Antoninus Pius, and at forty, in 
A.D. 161, he became emperor. 

The reign of Marcus Aurelius was marked by the Parthian 
War in A.D. 165 ; by a great pestilence which spread over the 
west of Europe ; by Teutonic attempts to break into the 
Empire in A.D. 174 ; by the revolt of a general, Avidius Cas- 
sius, in A.D. 175 ; by persecution of the Christians at Lyons in 
France in A.D. 176, and by the war with the Northerners 
which ended in their defeat in A.D. 179 and in the Emperor's 
death at fif ty-nine years in A.D. 180 from an illness contracted 
the year before. The wars at the northern frontier he led in 
person, and he died in camp* He was a faithful son and 
husband, and a loyal pupil. Many of the letters between 
hi and his favorite teacher survive. One of them will be of 

"Hail, my sweetest of masters," he writes Fronto. "We are 
well. I slept somewhat late owing to my slight cold, which seems 
now to have subsided. So from five A.M. till nine I spent the time 
partly in reading some of Cato's Agriculture and partly in writing 
not quite such wretched stuff, by heavens, as yesterday. Then, 
after paying my respects to my father, I relieved my throat, I will 
not say by gargling though the word 'gargarisso' is, I believe, 
found in Novius and elsewhere but by swallowing honey water 
as far as the gullet and ejecting it again. After easing my throat 
I went off to my father and attended him at a sacrifice. Then we 
went to luncheon. What do you think I ate ? A wee bit of bread, 
though I saw others devouring beans, onions, and herrings full of 
roe. We then worked hard at grape-gathering, and had a good 



sweat, and were merry and, as the poet says, 'still left some clus- 
ters hanging high as gleanings of the vintage.' After six o'clock 
we came home. I did but little work and that to no purpose. 

Then I had a long 
chat with my little 
mother as she sat on 
the bed." 

Marcus Aurelius 
adopted the Stoic 
philosophy, and put 
it into practice in 
the spirit of a reli- 

"Of human life the 
time is a point, and 
the substance is in a 
flux, and the percep- 
tion dull, and the 
composition of the 
whole body subject 
to putrefaction, and 
the soul a whirl, and 
fortune hard to di- 
vine, and fame a thing 
devoid of judgment. 
And, to say all in a 
word, everything 
which belongs to the 
body is a stream, and 
what belongs to the 
soul is a dream and 
vapor, and life is a warfare and a stranger's sojourn, and after- 
fame is oblivion. What then is that which is able to conduct a 
man? One thing and only one, philosophy." 

The dead Emperor was hon Dred by deification, and in a 
way became a saint. Many kept by them his statue or bustj 


A Victory hovers above him, and a trumpeter goes 



and in the time of Capitolinus, his biographer of long after- 
ward, it stood among their household deities. 

The many surviving portraits of the philosopher statesman, 
in statue, bust, and relief, of which the most famous is the 
equestrian statue on the Piazza Campidoglio in Rome, pre- 
sent the Emperor with full beard and plentiful hair, and with 
grave, dignified, and serene countenance in keeping with the 
character of the Meditations. 


It is time something was said about the religion of the 
Roman. To know of his environment, person, and occupa- 
tions is not enough ; we need to know of his thoughts and 
behavior before the mystery of life. This is a difficult 
matter ; the inner life of men is always the last thing in their 
composition to be appreciated. 

The religion of the Roman when it first comes into sight 
has already been greatly influenced by contact with other 
religions. Before that time, he was like other men of imper- 
fect culture ; he saw and felt spirits everywhere : in the beasts 
of the field, in the trees and stones, in the wind and thunder, 
in all the objects, animate and inanimate, with which he 
was surrounded. To keep his relations with them right, 
to turn aside their wrath or to win their favor, he devised 
special words or acts. This is the stage of belief called 

As his experience grew, however, his vision also grew. 
He became familiar with what was nearer at hand ; only that 
which was more remote from contact retained its mystery. 
The number of spirits which especially concerned him be- 
came smaller. From *mi-miam he passed to polytheism, the 
faith in a number of distinct gods. He worshiped Faunus 
and Fauna, the protectors of his animals in field and wood, 
Janus was the god of all beginnings and of the turn of the 
yearly season. Jovis was in the sunshine, the rain, the 
lightning, the thunder. Vesta was in his hearth and home. 




Census protected his horses, and Saturn the seeding and the 

But some of these are deities little heard of in historic 
times. Before the Romans prayed to Jupiter and Juno and 
other gods familiar to Virgil and 
Cicero, further development 
was necessary. 

As the Roman absorbed the 
races near him and came into 
close relations with Volscian, 
Etruscan, and Samnite, and 
finally brougjht both them and 
the Greek of southern Italy 
and Sicily under his sway, con- 
tact with other men and other 
religions broadened his outlook, 
and modified his acts of wor- 
ship. From the simple poly- 
theism of the fields and the 
open air of Latium, he passed 
to the polytheism of the older 
and more thoughtful Greeks. From deities without form 
or shape and altars in grove and pasture, he passed to 
the temples and images of Etruscan nd Hellenic gods. 
The image of Diana in the temple on the Aventine in King 
Servius' time was the first statue of deity worshiped by the 
Romans. With the reign of the Etruscan kings, the gods 
of Etruria also entered Latium. By 217 B.C., all the Greek 
gods and goddesses had been brought to Rome and had 
blended with the native deities. The Greek gods received 
the Roman names, and Greek ideas and ceremonial were 
modified by Roman thought and practice. Zeus and Hera 
became Jupiter and Juno; Poseidon and Athena became 



Neptune and Minerva; Ares and Aphrodite, Mars and 
Venus ; Apollo and Artemis, Apollo and Diana ; Hephaestus 
and Hestia, Vulcan and Vesta; Hermes and Demeter, 
Mercury and Ceres. 

These are the gods who appear in the pages of Cicero and 
Virgil and Horace and in the statuary descended to us from 
Greek and Roman times. It must not be thought, however, 
that they were the only gods of the Roman people. They 
were indeed the representative deities of the State, the most 
frequently heard of, the most impressive to look on, and the 
most cosmopolitan ; they were the world deities of Roman 
civilization. But in thinking of religion as a force in the 
life of Rome, we must remember the faith of the individual at 
the hearth and as he went about his ordinary living. In the 
homes on the farm and in the villages of Latium and Central 
Italy, in the old-fashioned homes of the capital itself, there 
were still in Augustan times the gods of early Rome : Vesta 
and the Penates, protectors of the family; Faunus, pro- 
tector of the flocks ; Saturn, god of the planted crops ; and 
many another of the kindly guardians from times when the 
gods of Olympus were yet unknown. 

Nor were the Graeco-Roman and the old-fashioned Italian 
faiths the only ones. There were also the gods, not yet re- 
garded quite with favor, of the many foreign groups that had 
come to be a part of the great city. There was the Great 
Mother, for the Orientals ; there was Isis, for the Egyptians ; 
there was Mithras, for the Persians. There were philos- 
ophers who interpreted the gods in new ways to suit them- 
selves. There were astrologers and fortune-tellers for the 

It will not be possible to follow out in detail either ths 
beliefs or practices of Roman religion. Let us attempt onl ? 
to understand its general character. 



First of all, the religion of the Roman world was not the 
same in all places and in all times. It varied according to 
city and country and race, and it changed from century to 


Its high foundations are covered by a grove of flex trees. Augustus restored 
the temple, which was about 100 X 50 feet. The fragments are of volcanic rock 
called peperino, and were coated with stucco to make them appear marble. 

century. The Latin tribes, the Etruscans, the Umbrians 
and Samnites, and the Greeks had modified it, the Egyptians 
and Orientals were a growing influence in the city of 



Augustus' time, and the Christians were soon to come with 

the greatest leaven of all. 

In the next place, it was a religion which was formally a 

part of the State. 
It would be wrong 
to speak of religion 
and the Roman 
State as an alliance 
between two sepa- 
rate things, for re- 
ligion was a func- 
tion or department 
of the State. The 
temples and priests, 
the sacrifices and 
expiations, the va- 
rious processions, 
and the celebrations 
of holidays were un- 
der the control and 
at the expense of 
Government. This 
is not said of per- 
sonal and private 
worship, of course, 
which might be car- 
ried on at any time 
or place. The tem- 
ples were open to 
everyone, and every- 
one was free to erect 

his own altar or shrine and to sacrifice in the manner he chose. 
Third, it was a religion represented by many places of 

An acolyte holds the incense casket, the Emperor 
sprinkles from it on to the altar fire supported by 
the tripod, an attendant plays the pipe, and the sac- 
rificial animal and the popa (the priest with the axe) 


worship, and by many reminders to the eye. In Rome there 
were some three hundred temples, nearly the number of 
churches there to-day, and Augustus was the restorer of 
eighty of them. They were stately edifices with colonnades, 
vivid with tinting and flashing with metal ornament. The 
priests at their altars were robed in gorgeous vestments, 
and the solemn processions moving through the street and 
forum were among the great spectacles of the city. There 
were also the smaller places of worship. There were thou- 
sands of little shrines and separate altars in the city, by the 
side of the country road, and on the farms. The flowers and 
candles and kneeling devotees so frequent in Italy to-day 
all had their equivalent in ancient times, and the priest at the 
altar in the open air was a much more frequent sight. 

Fourthly, it was a religion highly organized and with a 
multitude of functionaries. At its head was the college of 
pontifices, an ancient body self-elected and holding office for 
life, headed by the pontif ex maximus. It exercised author- 
ity over sacred observances in general, such as interpretation 
of portents and decisions regarding festivals of prayer or 
sacrifices in expiation. There were the flamens, or priests 
officiating at sacrifices, of whom the flamen of Jupiter was the 
most prominent. There were the Vestal Virgins, a sister- 
hood of six chosen in girlhood by the pontif ex maximus, in 
charge of the worship of Vesta, deity of the hearth and sym- 
bol of the inner life of the State. There were the Fratres 
Arvales, a brotherhood of priests who prayed for the fruitful- 
ness of the fields ; the Luperci, protectors of the flocks and 
herds; and the Salii, custodians of the sacred shield, who 
appeared in procession every March, leaping and clashing 
their armor. There was the college of augurs, experts in the 
lore of signs from Jupiter. There were the quindecimvirs, 
fihe board of fifteen in chaise of cults introduced from abroad, 


with special oversight of the Sibylline Books and the worship 
of Apollo. There were the septemvirs, the seven in charge 
of feasts in honor of the gods. 

As might be expected from the number of its temples and 
priests and from the number of its gods, it was a religion of 
many festivals. To mention only a few, there were the Ludi 
Romani, a season of two weeks in September, sacred to 
Jupiter ; the Saturnalia, in December, in honor of Saturn ; 
the Lupercalia, February 15, to prosper the flocks; the 
Cerealia, April 19, for the grain and wine spirits. 

In the fifth place, the religion of the Romans was one of 
numerous formal details and of great strictness in their 
observation. Every movement at the altar, every phrase, 
and every syllable must be preserved in all exactness ; an 
omission robbed the ceremony of all effect, and might bring 
down upon the priest or the State the wrath of the offended 
god. The Salic priests in Cicero's time repeated at the altar 
formulae which they scarcely understood themselves, so 
ancient was the wording of the rite. The flamen of Jupiter 
was not allowed to mount a horse, to have a knot in any 
part of his dress, to wear a ring unless it was broken, or to 
take an oath. 

Sixthly, it was a religion of signs and portents and omens 
and auguries and visions and dreams. Its theory was that 
deity had its way of manifesting itself to mortals, if mortals 
could only understand. In public and private, no citizen 
entered upon an undertaking with confidence unless he had 
taken the auspiceb, Lhat is, performed a sacrifice and noted 
the signs in the victim, or otherwise made formal observa- 
tions, and found that the gods were not against hi?n T The 
Roman priesthood had treasured up from earliest times the 
lore of the fligjit and the notes of birds, the eating and drink- 
ing of the sacred chickens, the markings and movements 01 


Che sacrificial victim's entrails, the behavior of the lightning, 
the interpretation of dreams, the signification of the unusual 
in nature. Cicero's treatise On Divination is a discussion of 
methods in learning the will of the gods. Especially in times 
of trouble, such as war or the plague, some strange dream 


The priest pours incense on the altar flame, the priestess assists with a bowl of 
incense, and the popa, or holy executioner, with sacrificial axe, brings up the victim. 
The Roman priest kept the head covered during sacrifice. 

or freak of nature or fancied vision in the sky might call for 
consultation of the Sibylline Books, or a season of prayer and 
purification, or the introduction of a new cult. Such things 
as these were of less authority in the days of Cicero and 
Caesar than in earlier times, and were kept up rather because 
of long custom and popular belief than because intelligent 
men believed in them; yet Caesar's colleague in the con- 
sulship, Bibulus, could still keep measures from coming to 


the vote by resorting to the ancient procedure of " watching 
the sky." Caesar himself at last put Bibulus and the ob- 
structionists aside, but with people less enlightened and 
resolute, and in the backward places of the Roman realms, 
the lore of superstition and the blind observance of tradition 
never ceased. 

Seventhly, it was a religion of material sacrifice. It has 
even been said, though not with entire truth, that it was a 
religion of bargaining and devoid of spiritual value. The 
worshiper prayed for a material benefit, and promised a 
material payment. The flowers and fruits were laid on the 
altar, the libation of wine was poured, the lamb or kid or ox 
was slaughtered, and the gods received a share of the feast. 
The general departing for the wars, the trader setting sail with 
laden argosy, the pontifex in behalf of the State, promised 
the gods a gift of gold, a lordly victim, or a definite per 
cent of the spoil or gain. If the person promising fulfilled his 
part of the contract, the deity was bound to grant him his 
desire. There was no demand for belief or faith, no sub- 
scription to creed ; the scrupulously correct performance of 
ritual was all that was required. It may be objected also 
that the slaughter of helpless victims at the altar, the sight of 
blood, and the reek of burning flesh must have been revolting 
to the senses of many Romans, as their mere mention is to 
us. It was a religion of uncleanly practices. 

That the Roman's faith was entirely without spiritual 
aspiration or spiritual communion is in the nature of things 
hardly possible. The spiritual experiences of the ancients 
may not have been so common as those of modern times, and 
they surely were not so frequently set forth in literature, 
but they existed, even as without being spoken of and unsus- 
pected they exist in many a modern life. If this is not true, 
how could such a passage be written as that in Minucius 



Felix? " In communion with and filled with the divine, our 
priests foresee that which is to come, give warnings against 
danger, healing to the sick, hope to those who are cast down, 
help to the unfortunate, solace to those in calamity, relief in 
time of trouble." 


Four boys burn candles before the goddess, who stands with quiver in hand on 
a pillar between two torches. Four others, who carry baskets of fruit and stand- 
ards tipped with busts and supporting grape clusters, are being marshalled for a 
orocession. The painting was found in Ostia. 

Yet the charge of formalism is doubtless in a measure 
Justified. All religions, when reduced to system and estab- 
lished, soon suffer from it. The official religion of the Roman 
State remained for centuries unchanged in much of what 
appeared to the eye, and its forms were stereotyped and 
mechanical. It owed its security in part to the very fact 
that it was old and fixed by the practice of generation after 


generation, that its temples had a venerable past, that its 
priests in their ministry were impressive with the sanction of 
time, that its colorful and stately processions were rich with 
mystic symbols of other ages and another world. 

Eighthly, it was a conservative religion. Here again, it. 
was like religion in general, which is always slow to change, 
and, like religions employing many forms and much cere- 
mony, it was especially slow to change. It had not only the 
conservatism of inertness, but was conservative consciously 
and with a purpose. Its priests, its patrons, the magistrates, 
the elder citizens, the aristocratic families of the old Roman 
blood, the stolid folk of the unchanging country, with the 
many whose temperament unaided by reason set them 
against all change, formed a great body whose argument for 
a thousand years was always the same. The State was 
founded and has risen to greatness under the protection of 
the gods, they insisted. Its fortunes have been due to 
obedience, its misfortunes to disobedience or mistake. Our 
temples, our priests, our ancient ceremonies, represent tho 
long experience of our sires and grandsires in the search after 
knowledge of the relations between the human and the divine. 
To cast all this aside, or to relax in the strictness of our 
observances, would be to bring ruin upon the State and aU 
its members. For the sake of respect for tradition, for the 
sake of patriotism, and for the sake of safety, let us follow 
in the steps of our ancestors. 

" Thou shalt continue to atone for the sins of thy fathers, 
O Roman," says Horace, as he surveys the ruins of the Roman 
State which Augustus is trying to rebuild, " until thou shalt 
have reerected the falling shrines of the gods and replaced the 
images foul with blackening smoke. It is because thou art 
obedient to the gods that thou art set over men. To tins 
refer every beginning ; to this, every end. It is neglect cf 


the gods that has brought many woes on mournful Hesperia." 
Four hundred years later, the same sentiment is on the lips 
of Symmachus, the gentleman and patriot of the city soon to 
be entered by Alaric : " If long existence confers authority 
upon religions, the faith of so many generations is worthy of 
preservation, and we ought to follow our fathers as they with 
such good results followed theirs." 

Ninthly, the Roman religion was one which included many 
varieties and degrees of faith. We have seen that with the 
growth of the Roman State the religion of the Greeks was 
blended with the native faith, and that the religions of Egypt 
and Asia followed. Not only were various religions brought 
together to form one body under the State, but the individual 
citizens might vary in their interpretations and beliefs. This 
is a condition which must exist when religion has grown into 
a system with much conservatism and formalism. There 
were the extreme conservatives who took religion literally 
and frowned on every departure from the rule. There were 
the timid who were cowed by tales of priests about the after 
life in the lower world. There were those who saw in the 
old tales a deeper and spiritual meaning; Jupiter was the 
sky, Juno the earth, the fruits of the earth their children, etc. 
There were the Stoics, who found the old religion insufficient 
but would not abandon it, and based upon it an enlightened 
system of belief and conduct. There were those who found 
in Isis and Mithras the satisfaction they did not feel in Apollo 
and Minerva. There were those who were faithful to forms 
but felt no moral restraint, and behaved as they pleased. 
There were those who did not believe, but looked upon re- 
ligion as a necessary instrument in the affairs of men ; like the 
modern political philosophers who say that if the people had 
no religion we should have to invent one. There were the 
skeptics who denied all reality in religion. There were the 


superstitious who regulated themselves by inessentials, and 
whose lives were full of little suspicions and dreads. Reli- 
gion was not the same thing to all people in ancient Rome, 
as it is not in any country or church to-day. 

It will make clearer the place of religion in the Roman con- 
sciousness if we consider the attitude of various individuals 
toward the divine. 

Caesar, as we have seen, in his consulship broke away from 
the long-standing regard of the public man for augury. His 
whole career was in the same spirit. " No regard for religion 
of any sort ever frightened him out of an undertaking or even 
made him hesitate/' Suetonius says. He had held the office 
of pontifex maximus three years before the consulship, but 
the fact had nothing to do with religion as we conceive it. 
Caesar was a free liver and spendthrift, and stood for the 
office because it would help him into favor and out of debt. 
His regard for religion was the regard of the practical man for 
an instrument" to use in his own advantage or that of the 

In Cicero may be seen better the attitude of the average 
public man toward religion. The names of the gods are often 
on his tongue, and he never speaks or acts with disrespect 
of them ; but he also gives no evidence of the prayerful spirit 
or of participation in the acts of worship, though this is not 
necessarily proof of the lack of loyalty to religion. His belief 
in the immortality of a better world is grounded, not in faith, 
but in reason; if indeed it does not depend entirely upon 
Plato's doctrines always fascinating to him. His inspiration 
is philosophy rather than religion. The Stoic teaching has 
the greater attraction for him, and he never misses the oppor- 
tunity of disapproving the Epicurean, but he does not sub- 
scribe without reserve to any system. Had you asked him 
his thoughts upon religion, he would very probably have said 



that it was a proper and necessary thing in the life of the 
State, that it would be a waste of time to debate its usefulness 
either there or in the life of the individual citizen, and that the 
individual citizen's duty was to continue in the ways of his 
ancestors. If he had gone on to discuss, it would have been 
as a philosopher and spectator rather than as a worshiper. 


This is one of four temples excavated since 1924 in the south portion 
of the Campus Martius. They were worshiped in by the Romans of Han- 
nibal's time and earlier. 

If we look into the religious beliefs of Horace and Virgil 
and Lucretius, we shall find three types. Horace is the spec- 
tator, Lucretius the aggressive and passionate skeptic, and 
Virgil the religious by temperament. 

Horace calls himself an Epicurean, but in a humorous 
manner which indicates no very deep conviction. The 
morality which he preaches, and for the most part lives, is 


Stoic. His poems addressed to Apollo, Minerva, Venus, and 
Diana, and his references to deity in general, are those of a 
man who acquiesces in religion, does not debate it, has no 
passion for it, but admires the virtues of devotion and up- 
rightness, and enters into sympathy with the worshiper. 
His ode to Faunus is an exquisitely clear portrayal of the 
simple and familiar faith of the country : 

"Oh, wont the flying nymphs to woo, 

Good Faunus, through my sunny farm 
Pass gently, gently pass, nor do 
My younglings harm. 

"Each year, thou know'st, a kid must die 

For thee ; nor lacks the wine's full stream 
To Venus' mate, the bowl ; and high 
The altars steam. 

"Sure as December's nones appear, 

All o'er the grass the cattle play; 
The village, with the lazy steer, 
Keeps holiday. 

"Wolves rove among the fearless sheep ; 

The woods for thee their foliage strow; 
The delver loves on earth to leap, 
His ancient foe." 

The ode to Phidyle, another picture of the country, suggests 
the moral and spiritual elevation of which the Roman re- 
ligion was capable. Were not our communication with the 
mind and heart of the common people of Roman times so 
badly broken, we might be told of unsuspected riches. 

"But raise thy hands, rustic Phidyle, 

Under the new-born moon outstretched to heaven; 
Only do thou thy household gods appease 
With greedy pig or fruit of this year's trees 
Or incense given : 


'Then shall the wind that bringeth pestilence 
Blast not the fertile vine, thy tender crops 
No blighting rust, thy gentle nurslings fear 
No sickly season when the Autumn sere 
Its apple drops. 



Vlonte Cavo, 3,200 feet, is here seen from Tusculum. The scenes in Horace's 
poem to Rustic Phidyle were probably in the Alban Hills. 

"The victim grazing on the snowy height 

Of Algidus, in oak and ilex glade, 
Or fattening on grassy Alban plain, 
Marked for the altar, with his blood shall stain 
The pontiff's blade. 

"Thee it availeth naught with sacrifice 

Of many a yearling lamb to make thy plea 
Unto thy gods, thy little gods, if thou 
But crownest them with fragile myrtle bough 
And rosemary. 


" Lay but a spotless hand upon the altar, 

No costly gift enhancing its appeal, 
And it shall calm thy little hearth-gods' ire 
With simple salt that crackles in the fire, 
And holy meal." 

Lucretius also is the declared Epicurean, but one who ie 
filled with the passion of the reformer. The gods have no 
concern for men, is his vehement message ; they are created 
beings like men, in nothing different save their deathlessness 
and unconcern. With man, and all other existing things, 
they are the blind creations of a primeval, whirling, colliding 
chaos of atoms. There is no immortality ; the soul is made 
of atoms and mortal like all else, and the everlasting sleep of 
death is the end of soul as well as body. There is no after 
life of either misery or blessedness. Temples and priests, 
altars and offerings and prayers, the tales of another life 
all are false and unreal ; and the chief cause of the miseries of 
man is the belief in them that brings fear into his heart. 
Death is not an evil ; it is only the beginning of never ending 
repose. Epicurus is the savior of mankind from the enslav- 
ing fears of the religious life and the dread of death. 

Virgil represents the religious temperament, and Roman 
religion at its best. Taught by Epicurean masters, an ad- 
mirer of Lucretius' On Nature, he knows the physical doc- 
trines of Epicurus, but in mind and soul he is too generous to 
be confined by any sect. He feels the tragedy of death, 
whether in Dido and Euryalus, or in the cattle of the field 01 
the birds of the air. He feels the mystery of life, and the 
presence of the infinite unknown in all the spaces of heaven 
and earth and sea and in all their creatures. He admires 
devotion to friends, to family, and to State, and reveres the 
old and the established practices of the Roman worshiper. 
Religion with him is not a mere convention ; he associates 



morality with it. He feels that the good man will be rewarded 
and the bad punished, on earth and in another world. He 
feels that Rome and the Roman citizen have a destiny, and 
that this world and its affairs were ordered by a divine plan. 

This is taken from the rear, looking toward the city. 

He feels the solemnity of the human being consciously an 
instrument in the divine hand. 

Rome is called the Holy City, and rightly so. It did not 
first become the Holy City, however, with the advent of 
Christianity ; it was the holy city of paganism before it was 
the holy city of Christianity. Camillus is made by Livy to 
say in 390 B.C., when it has been proposed to move the capital 


to Veil : " We have a city founded and established by the 
will of the gods through signs. There is no spot in it not full 
of religious associations and the presence of gods. The 
places, no less than the days, for sacrificial observances are 
fixed. All these gods, public and private, are you going to 
desert, my fellow citizens? " Saliust calls the Romans 
religiosissimi martales. Cicero writes that in religious 
matters his countrymen are superior to other peoples, and 
that they have overcome all the nations of the world because 
they have realized that the world is directed and governed 
by the will of the gods. 



There are two reasons why the subject of religion should 
be followed by the subject of holidays. In the first place, 
the public holidays of Rome were almost all associated 
with religion. A holiday was a holy day. In the second 
place, the manner in which men 
and nations employ their free 
time is, next to religion itself, 
the best indication of their 
character. Further, the sub- 
ject of amusements is soon to 
claim our attention, and amuse- 
ments depend largely upon 
holidays. It was on the days 
or series of days in honor of 
the gods called ludi, plays, 
sports, or games that the 
drama, the races, and the glad- 
iatorial exhibitions took place 
which are the best-known en- 
tertainment of the Roman 

The association of religion and amusement came about 
in a natural way. When the Romans in the primitive little 
city on the Palatine and in the rustic communities under its 
sway met together around their common altars to honor 
and propitiate the deity for whom the day was set aside, 




Such masks are the common orna- 
ment of theaters to-day. 


no legal business could be transacted, and work of every 
kind was suspended. The prayer and sacrifice concluded, 
the remainder of the day was given up to rest and merry- 
making. In the country, there were the dance and the 
simple trials of strength and skill that always belong to rustic 
gatherings and always remain the same. In the city, these 
simple beginnings soon developed into formal entertainment. 
As the city grew to be a great capital, the entertainment 
came to be an end in itself, and assumed enormous dimen- 

The chief public holidays during the middle years of 
Cicero's life were the Ludi Megalenses, April 4-10, in honor 
of the Great Mother of the Gods, seven days; the Ludi 
Cereales, April 12-19, in honor of Ceres, the grain goddess, 
eight days ; the Floralia, April 28-May 3, in honor of Flora 
dnd the flowers and fertility, five days ; the Ludi Apollinares, 
July 6-13, in honor of Apollo, eight days ; the Romani or 
Magni, September 5-19, in honor of Jupiter, fifteen days ; 
fihe Sullani, or Ludi Yictoriae, October 26-November 1, in- 
stituted by Sulla to celebrate his victory, seven days ; the 
Plefeeii, November 4-17, founded to conciliate the common 
people, fourteen days. 

These holidays, all classified as ludi, or festivals of which 
public entertainment was the great feature, amounted to 
64 days. The functions were in charge of aediles, who 
sometimes made them the means of their ambition by con- 
tributing heavily from their own money. The number of 
days devoted to ludi had increased from 64 to 87 by the reign 
of Tiberius, the'luccessor of Augustus ; was 135 in the time 
of Marcus Aurelius; and is said to have been 175 in the 
middle of the fourth century. Sometimes there were special 
ludi ; as after the taking of Jerusalem by Titus in A.D. 70, 
when they lasted 100 days, or in A.D. 106, after Trajan's 


conquest of Dacia, when they continued 123 days. These 
larger numbers included gladiatorial combats, which were at 
first called munera gladiatoria and were not officially ludi. 

The ludi, or games, were not the only holidays in the 
Roman year. There were other festivals which swelled the 
number in Cicero's and Virgil's time to over one hundred. 
The name for all holidays was feriae, or dies festi; feriae 
being the origin of our word ' 'fair," and dies festa the origin 
of Italian festa and French fete. The ludi are thus to be 


Six trees serve as metae, goal posts. Three scenes are portrayed : the start, an 
accident, the victor with palm branch. From a wall painting in the house of the 
Vettii, Pompeii. 

defined as feriae on which plays and circus races were fea- 
tured by the State. 

X)f the feriae which were not ludi, the one which appeals 
most to the modern is the Saturnalia, many of whose usages 
found their way into the Christmas of the Church. Origi- 
nally one day only, December 17, but grown by Cicero's 
time to seven, the Saturnalia was celebrated by calls on 
friends, the giving of presents, including wax candles and 
pastry images, and the treatment of slaves as equals. The 
Saturnalia was at first a festival of the farm, but in the 
city lost its rustic character except that it preserved a public 
sacrifice at the Temple of Saturn at the head of the Forum, 
which was followed by a banquet ending with cries of To 
Saturnalia! by the banqueters. It was a season of unre* 
strained merrymaking, during which a great deal of license 
was allowed and the slaves especially enjoyed taking liber- 


ties with their masters. The seventh of Horace's second 
book of Satires is a scolding given the poet by his slave Davus, 
who has followed his master to the country on the Saturnalia. 
There were many other holidays marked by religious 
observances and general amusements. There was the Paga- 
nalia, January 24-26, in honor of Ceres and Tellus [Earth], 
the patrons of the seed sown in autumn and to be sown in 
spring. There was the LupercaUg, February 15, with a 
sacrifice of goats and a dog at the Lupercal cave beside the 
Palatine, where Romulus and Remus had been found by the 
she-wolf. Its main feature was the sacred race about the 
hill by two noble youths who as they ran struck all women 
standing near with strips of hide taken from the victim- 
The scene in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar is historical as 
to substance : 

Caesar. Calpurnia ! 

Calpurnia. Here, my lord. 

Caesar. Stand you directly in Antonius' way, 

When he doth run his course. Antonius ! 
Antonius. Caesar, my lord? 
Caesar. Forget not, in your speed, Antonius, 

To touch Calpurnia ; for our elders say, 

The barren, touched in this holy chase, 

Shake off their sterile curse. 

On the Parentalia, February 13-21, all Rome visited its 
dead with flowers and offerings of wine and honey and milTr, 
in a sort of family communion. On the first of March, the 
day of Mars, once the Roman New Year, the twenty-four 
priests called Salii went leaping and dancing in procession 
through the streets. On the Liberalia, March 17, the Roman 
boy put on the toga of manhood. 

The Parilia, April 21, in honor of Pales, the goddess of 
pastures and flocks, was celebrated in the city also as the 


birthday of Rome. On the 29th of May was the Ambarva- 
lia, with its procession of all the people around the fields, 
and the sacrifice of a pig, a sheep, and an ox for the purifica- 
tion of the crops and animals a celebration still surviving 
in another form in the Christian Church. The Vestalia, 
June 9, was in honor of the goddess of the hearth, whose 
worship originated in the time when the primitive village 
maintained a common fire from which at need the hearths 
could be renewed, and when the daughters of the chieftain 
were in charge of it. 

The feriae in July were old-fashioned, and their origin 
obscure even to the ancients. On August 19 was the Vinalia 
Rustica, when perhaps the Flainen of Jupiter plucked the 
first fruits of the vineyard and offered prayer and sacrifice 
for the coining vintage. In September the fifteen days of 
the Ludi Romani were almost the only feriae. On the 
Fontinalia, October 13, the wells and springs were decorated 
with garlands of flowers. 

November was another month with few feriae besides the 
ludi. The Ides of every month were sacred ta; Jupiter, the 
Calends to Juno ; the Ides being the 13th exc^fc in March, 
May, July, and October, when the date was. the 15th, and 
the Calends being the first. Every ninth day, the nundinae, 
was market day, and the farmers came to town, but it is 
uncertain whether these days were feriae. 

Not even these are all the festival days without ludi which 
are known ; but if they are added to the sixty-four days of 
the ludi, the impression is quite strong that the Roman year 
had a great number of holidays. This is the fact, but not 
to the degree that might be thought. In the first place, 
many of the festivals of which we have evidence in the sur- 
viving calendars were either little noticed or practically 
obsolete. In the second place, it should be remembered 



that there was no Sunday in pagan Rome. If we add to our 
fifty-two Sundays the various national and State holidays, 
we shall have about sixty days on which business is not trans- 
acted, as against the more 
than a hundred in the Romo 
of Cicero. If we count the 
Saturday afternoons taken 
by the banks and profes 
sional classes, it will increases 
the free days by twenty-six. 
In Europe the total is even 
greater. In the third place, 
the Roman feriae were not 
always observed by absten- 
tion from labor and business. 
Writers on farm affairs, in- 
cluding Virgil and Cato, tell 
us that to work at certain 
tasks on festival days is not 
an offense against either 
human or divine law "to 
lead the water into the fields, 
to fence the grainfield about, 
to lay snares for the birds, to 
burn the brambles, to bathe 
the flock in the health-giving 
stream." If this was true 
of the country, in the city 
many a festival went by with little effect on the day's 

We may conclude this account of the holidays by saying 
something about the Roman calendar. The Roman year 
for a long time began with March, the month of Mars, pro- 


He has a scepter as a symbol of au- 
thority in the left hand, and a handker- 
chief or cloth ML the right. 


cecting deity of a race of warriors, whose birthday was on 
the first of the month. This is why the months which for us 
are ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth September, Octo- 
ber, November, December bear the Roman names of 
"seventh month," "eighth month," "ninth month," and 
"tenth month"; and why July and August, before Julius 
Caesar and Augustus, were Quinctilis and Sextilis, "fifth 
month" and "sixth month/ 7 It is supposed that the change 
to January 1 as the official first day of the year took place 
in 153 B.C. It was on this date that the consuls began to 
enter upon their duties on the first of January instead of on 
the first of March. 

In the year 46 B.C., another and a more important change 
took place. Up to this time, there had always been in the 
calendar the difficulty caused by the difference between the 
sun's year, which is 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 48 
seconds, and the year of twelve moons, which is 354 days, 
8 hours, 48 minutes, and 35 seconds. If, for example, the 
Vinalia Rustica is celebrated on August 19 by the lunar 
calendar, it will occur eleven days earlier each time in tho 
solai year, and there will be no grapes for the flamen to offer. 
The arrangement by which this disagreement was corrected 
for several centuries before Caesar's dictatorship consisted 
of a four-year cycle, in which a year of 355 days was fol- 
lowed by a second of 355 plus 22, a third of 355, and a 
fourth of 355 plus 23, the extra periods being inserted after 
February 23. This reminds us of our extra day every four 
years in February. 

Even this device, however, was not perfect, and by 
Caesar's time the calendar was badly out of harmony with 
the sun and moon. The Dictator's remedy was first to bring 
the calendar dates into correct relation with the sun and 
moon by prolonging the year 46 to 445 days, and then to 


begin the year 45 with the new system called after its founder 
the Julian Calendar, according to which the year consisted 
of 365 days, with one day added after the 23d of February 
every fourth year. This system, with a correction by Pope 
Gregory XIII in A.D. 1582, is in use to-day in America. 
Europe, and most of the rest of the world, though tLe 
Gregorian feature is not quite universal. 

According to Livy, the Roman calendar was first pub- 
lished in 304 B.C., in the Forum, "in order that it might be 
known when business according to law was possible." Its 
publication after Caesar's time, with dates, indications of 
festivals, and annotations, was common in Rome and else- 
where. There are in existence parts of thirty calendars or 
more, fourteen of which were found in or near Rome, and 
one of which is practically complete. Most of them are 
incised in stone. 

Besides their indications of the various holidays of the 
Roman year, the calendars aiso set down against each day a 
certain mark. There are eight of these marks, of which 
three should be mentioned here. These are the letters F, N, 
and C, meaning Fastus, Nefastus, and Comitialis. The 
Dies Fastus was a day on which business with the civil 
authorities, and especially matters in the courts, could be 
transacted without offense to the gods. The Dies Nefastus 
was the opposite ; on a day marked N no business was legal, 
whether because the day was consecrated to the gods or 
because by reason of defeat, disaster, or other sinister event 
in time past the date was ill-omened. The Dies Comitialis 
was one on which it was legal for elections to be held as well 
as for business to be transacted. 

The number of days in the Julian Calendar marked F 
and C, and thus under divine approval for business purposes, 
was 239. The remaining 126 were nearly all marked N, and 


in most cases coincided with religious festivals. It should 
be added that in some cases the annotations F and C are 
found with festival days ; not every religious holiday was 
denied to business. The ItaDan elections to-day are held 
on Sunday. 


In Rome as well as in Athens, the giving of plays was a 
function of the State, was under the sanction of religion, and 
occurred on religious holidays. In Athens the patron deity 
was Dionysus, the great spectacles in tragedy and comedy 
took place at the main festival of the god on the opening of 
spring, and three plays at least were presented on a single 
day. In Rome under the Republic there were four State 
festivals at which literary drama was produced : the Ludi 
Megalenses, April 4-10 ; the Ludi Apollinares, July 6-13 ; 
the Ludi Romani, September 5-19 ; the Ludi Plebeii, No- 
vember 4-17. Plays were given on occasion also at triumphs 
and at funeral games. The number of holidays in which the 
theater had a part increased until in the late Empire there 
were about a hundred. One drama each day was the prac- 
tice, beginning in the middle of the day and lasting about 
three hours. Before the times of separate theater buildings, 
it took place in the Circus or near the temple of its patron 
deity, just as the medieval Christian play took place at the 
church door. The aediles contracted for the play with a 
dominus gregis, master of a troupe, who acquired the right of 
the play from its author. Wigs, masks, and the properties 
in general were in use. Female parts were usually done by 
men, many actors and managers were slaves or freedmen, and 
the social standing of the profession was low, though the 
best talent commanded the respect of all. 

There were in Rome by the last five years of Horace's life 



three theaters of the first class. The Theater of Pompey, 
erected by the great general in 55 B.C. and restored by 
Augustus in 32 B.C., perhaps after damage by fire, was the 
first pennanent theater in Rome. It was of stone, marble, 
and stucco, at the south end of the Campus Martius, and 
seated some ten thousand persons. It was part of a build- 
ing group including also temples, a portico, and the hall in 
which the Senate met on the day of Caesar's assassination 

"And in his mantle muffing up his face, 
Even at the base of Pompey's statua, 
Which all the while ran blood, great Caesar fell.' 7 

The next, theater was dedicated in 13 B.C. by Lucius Corne- 
lius Balbus, its builder, a friend of the Emperor, and had 
seats for about eight thousand. It stood farther south and 
nearer the Tiber, and its ruins are under the present Piazza 
dei Cenci and surrounding buildings. The third was also 
dedicated in 13 B.C. and named after Marcellus, nephew 
and adopted son of Augustus, who died at the age of twenty 
in 23 B.C. It also was near the Tiber, not far south of the 
Theater of Balbus. After a medieval and modern existence 
as fortress and palace of the Pierleoni, Savelli, and Qrsini, 
and after recent service in one of its p'arts as residence of 
the American Ambassador to Italy, the Theater of Mar- 
cellus is now an impressive national monument. It had 
some fourteen thousand seats. 

The erection of these playhouses all within the last fifty- 
five years of the pagan era does not mean that the drama 
had not hitherto existed in Rome. Quite the contrary, its 
active history began nearly two hundred years before the 
building of Pompey's theater. In the year 240 B.C., in 
order to celebrate in unusual fashion the close of the twenty- 
four years of the first war with Carthage, the aediles com- 



missioned Livius Andronicus, a teacher and writer who had 
been brought to Rome as a slave boy in 272 B.C. from Taren- 
tum in Magna Graecia, to put on as features of the Ludi 
Romani a tragedy and a comedy adapted from the Greek. 

The history of the 
Roman stage before 
Livius, who repre- 
sents the literary 
drama, is obscure. 
According to Livy, 
stage representation 
began in 364 B.C. 
with the introduc- 
tion of actors from 
Etruria, and Varro 
sees the remotest 
origins in such com- 
munity gatherings 
as the Lupercalia, 
after the manner of 
the -rise of Greek 
drama from the 
festivals of Diony- 

Livius was among 
the captives from 
Tarentum, whose 
fall meant the passing of Greek Italy under Roman control 
and a great impulse to Greek culture in the capital. Livius 
and his successors, Ennius, Naevius, Pacuvius, and Accius, 
the last of whom died in 86 B.C. and was acquainted with 
Cicero, produced a great body of Roman tragedy based on 
the Greek plays of Sophocles and Euripides. A similar 

For centuries it served as fortress and palace and 
for many shops. It has recently been disengaged 
and made a public monument. 


oody of Roman comedy based on Menander, Apollodorus, 
Diphilus, Posidippns, and other writers of the New Comedy 
in Athens, was produced by Plautus, 254WL84 B.C., Caecilius 
Statius, 219-166 B.C., and Terence, 195-159 B.C. America 
using the plays of England or France, and England using 
the dramatic material of France or Italy, are partial parallels. 

The tragedy of the Roman authors of the Republic is 
preserved only in fragments, though we have nine tragedies 
by Seneca written in Nero's time. The comedy is preserved 
in six plays of Terence and twenty-one of Plautus. Both 
tragedy and comedy in Rome are of great importance in the 
history of drama, because on the one hand the Greek New 
Comedy without Plautus and Terence would not be repre- 
sented by a single complete play, and on the other hand with- 
out Seneca modern tragedy would have missed its chief 
inspiration. The history and production of drama has been 
a continuous tradition from Athens through Rome to 
Renaissance Italy and the capitals of modern literary culture. 

It is difficult to explain how Rome could have been inter- 
ested enough in drama for two hundred years to produce 
the numerous plays just referred to and still not have pro- 
vided at least one permanent theater. During all this time 
we are to imagine a temporary stage erected, when the date 
of the ludi approached, at the foot of the Palatine or other 
slope, and the audience standing or sitting in curved rows 
on the rising ground. The usual explanation is that the 
theater with seats was regarded as a luxury which would 
lead the Roman people in the path of decadence trodden 
by the Greeks, who were held in contempt as unmanly and 
unreliable by their Roman patrons and conquerors. A 
permanent theater of stone begun in 154 B.C. was torn down 
by order of the Senate, and for a few years at least the people 
were forbidden to be seated at the shows. If the reason 


advanced is true, we must imagine the austere ideas of Cato 
the Censor, who died in 149 B.C. at the age of eighty-five 
after lifelong hatred of Greek fashions, as held by a very 
considerable part of Roman society. Yet it is hardly possi- 
ble that the scores and hundreds of Roman plays had nothing 
back of them but the patronage of a governing few who were 
specially interested in Greek drama ; the plays of Plautus 
and Terence were read and are referred to as if enjoyed by 
the Roman public, and all evidence goes to show that the 
drama, in general was in high esteem. We must conclude 
that the prejudice against the theater with permanent seats 
did not extend to the plays themselves. 

The era of the great writers of Roman drama was thus 
past before the city's first playhouse was built. Plays were 
still being written in the times of Cicero and Augustus, but 
none of them has survived, and they seem to have been 
written more as a literary fashion than for actual use on the 
stage. Cicero's brother Quintus, for example, wrote trage- 
dies while serving with Caesar in Gaul, and many of the 
Augustan courtiers tried their hands at it. The record of 
Quintus Cicero was four plays in sixteen days. That plays 
were produced in abundance in the latter part of the first 
century before Christ is indicated by the erection of the 
three theaters. In by far the larger part, they were 
the tragedies and comedies of a century and a half before 
the Sophoclean and Euripidean adaptations made by 
Ennius and Pacuvius, above mentioned, 

"Presenting Thebes or Pelops' line 
Or the tale of Troy divine," 

and the comedies of Plautus and Terence adapted from. 
Athenian plays by Menander and others of the fourth cen~ 
tury B.C. 



The productions were not entirely of the old, standard 
sort, however. There were some plays containing Roman 
subject matter and played in Roman costume and with 
Roman scenery. A serious play of this kind was called 
praetexta, from the purple-bordered toga of its costume. 

This is sometimes called Menander and his favorite, Qlycera. 

Romulus, Aeneas, Deeius, are some of the titles. Octavia, 
with scene in Nero's time, is the only complete praetexta 
surviving. The chief character, Octavia, is the daughter of 
the Emperor Claudius, and the bride of Nero, in whose affec- 
tion she is supplanted by Poppaea, with the tragic result of 
exile. There were also comedies with Roman content called 
Jobulae togatae because of the toga, the native costume, 
just as the Greek adaptations were called fabuLae palliatae 


from the pallium of the Greek costume. Some of the titles 
of the togata were The Lady Lawyer, The Defeated Candidate, 
The Divorce. Afranius, the chief writer of the togata, wrote 
forty plays. There were mimes, short and scandalous* 
plays in which the stock characters were the unfaithful wife, 
the deluded husband, and the gay coquette. The Twins, 
The Wedding, Lake Avemus, are titles of mimes by Decimus 
Laberius, of Caesar's time. Another mime writer of the 
time was Publilius Syrus. Sometimes there was the Atellan 
Farce, with its broad comic characters, Pappus, Maecus, 
Dossennus, and Bucco, like the Punch and Judy characters 
who are suspected of descent from them. Pomponius and 
Novius are the only authors who raised the Atellana to the 
literary level, and some of their titles are The Farmer, The 
Village Barber, The Campanians. The Atellana was dis- 
placed by the mime, and the mime specialized in gesticula- 
tion so successfully that it developed into pantomime. 

The stage in the times of Cicero and Horace no doubt 
offered a variety of entertainment. We may be sure that 
comedy was more welcome to the people than tragedy, and 
that the grossness of the mime was attractive to many who 
found too quiet the polished urbanity of Terence. We may 
be sure, too, that there was much entertainment of a dra- 
matic nature which never reached the stages of the great 
theaters or the public programs of the ludi. There were 
jugglers and acrobats, and the ancient equivalents of the 
vaudeville acts. 

Even in the presentation of the standard plays there were 
often liberties taken for the sake of pleasing the multitude. 
Cicero attends the opening plays in Pompey's theater, and 
writes a friend : "The sight of so much apparatus on the 
stage took away all pleasure, and I have no doubt you were 
quite content to miss it. For what delight can one take in 


5ix hundred mules in Clytemnestra, or in three thousand 
mixing bowls in The Trojan Horse, or in the various arms and 
trappings of infantry and cavalry in some fight? These 
things drew the admiration of the people, but would have 
given you no pleasure." The Clytemnestra here referred to 
is that of Accius, at that time dead thirty years, and The 
Trojan Horse is probably a play by Livius Andronicus 
written nearly two centuries before. 

The liking of the people for dumb shows and noise at 
these plays attended by Cicero is to be seen in a passage of 
Horace also. He satirizes in his smiling way the untaught 
and stolid plebeians in the audience clamoring in the midst 
of a play for "a bear, or the boxers, and ready to fight it 
out if the equites don't agree ; for the bear and the boxers 
are what the dear common folks like." 

"But all taste of the equites, too, has left the ear, and is now in 
the empty pleasure of the roving eye. For four hours or more the 
curtain is kept lowered [the modern 'raised'] while squadrons of 
cavalry and companies of infantry fly across the stage. Presently 
unhappy kings are dragged past, their hands bound behind them, 
chariots career along, and carriages, and wagons, and ships, and 
loot of ivory and Corinthian bronze. If Democritus [the laugh- 
ing philosopher] were on earth, he would laugh to see a cross 
between a camel and p, leopard, or a white elephant, capture the 
eyes of the crowd. He would find himself giving more attention 
to the audience than to the play itself, as affording more of a 
spectacle by far. He might think the author was staging the play 
for a deaf ass. For what words can rise above the din of our 
theaters? You would think the forests of Garganus roaring in 
the storm, or the Tuscan sea, with such noisiness are plays wit- 
nessed, with their display of rich and outlandish costumes. The 
actor comes on to the stage loaded down with them, and the clap- 
ping of hands begins. 'Is he saying anything yet?' 'Not a 
thing !' 'Then what is it they are applauding? 7 'The gown he 
has on, don? in Tarentine violet !'" 


There were other features of ancient dramatics resembling 
the modern. There were favorite actors, of course the stars. 

There was Aesopus in tragedy and Roscius in comedy, 
both among Cicero's acquaintances, and both said to have 
been his models in gesticulation, and observers in their turn 
of the lawyer Hortensius in court. Roscius, who died when 
Cicero was forty-four, was defended by the orator in the 
speech Pro Roscw Conioedo, and was said by Cicero to be 
so perfect in his art that a person excelling in anything was 
called a Roscius. 

Aesopus had retired before 55 B.C. and was honored by a 
recall to the stage on the dedication of Pompey's theater, 
but with unfortunate results. "There had returned to the 
stage, for the sake of distinction, those who I supposed had 
left it as a mark of distinction," Cicero writes his friend 
Marius. "Your favorite Aesop was in such a state that 
nobody would have objected to his retiring. When he had 
begun to take an oath you know the passage, 'if wittingly 
I prove false' his voice failed him." 

The century before, there had been Ambivius Turpio, 
the star of Terence's comedies, of whom Cicero in On Old 
Age has Cato make a simile : "As the spectator in the first 
row enjoys Ambivius Turpio more, though those in the last 
row also enjoy him, so perhaps youth because nearer to 
pleasures takes keener delight in them, but old age too, 
though at a distance, delights as much as need be wished." 
Later, in the time of Domitian, there were Demetrius and 
Stratocles, famous in comedy, "the former very fine in the 
parts of gods, young men, good fathers and slaves, matrons, 
and serious old women, and the latter better in the parts of 
cross old men, tricky slaves, parasites, panders, and livelier 
characters in general. The voice of Demetrius was pleas- 
anter, the other's carried better." 



There were sometimes jests from the audience at the ex- 
pense of the actor. An undersized Hector came on, and 
some one called out : "That is Astyanax! Where is Hec- 
tor?" A tall actor was greeted with: "Step over! You 


The architecture and sculpture indicate a fine building of the times of Marcos 


don't need a ladder I" A heavy one was advised, "Be care- 
ful of the stage!" 

Sometimes the position is reversed, and there are per- 
sonalities from the stage. "What ! Are you beginning to 
scowl because I said this was going to be a tragedy?" cries 
Mercury in the prologue of Plautus' Amphitruo. "I'm a 


god ; I'll see to having it changed." The prologue to the 
Captives is quite as familiar. "Do you get this? Very 
well, then. Yes, but the fellow away off yonder in the back 
says he doesn't. Come along up ! If there isn't a place for 
you to sit, there's room outside. Because you're making the 
actor go begging. I'm not going to burst myself on your 
account, don't think it !" 

The Mediterranean basin is dotted with the ruins of 
ancient theaters. In or near almost every city of size in 
Italy and Sicily, and in the principal ancient Roman centers 
of Africa, Spain, and France, the theater is one of the objects 
to be visited. Some of the examples even in lands more 
Greek than Roman show the construction of Roman times. 

The Roman theater differed frona the Greek in having 
the orchestra semicircular instead of circular. In other 
respects the differences were of little consequence. The 
parts of the theater were the scaena, scene, or stage ; the 
orchestra, in earliest Greek times the circle in which the 
chorus chanted and danced ; and the cavea, or auditorium. 
The larger of the two theaters at Pompeii, which may serve 
as an example, had two tribunalia, equivalents of the modern 
box, above the entrances at right and left of the cavea rows. 
Here sat the magistrates, Vestals, or other dignitaries. The 
seats in and next to the orchestra, and consequently nearest 
the stage, were reserved for the senators in Rome and for 
the town councilors in provincial cities. Fourteen rows 
were reserved behind these for the equites, according to the 
Roscian Law of 67 B.C. The more distant sections vrare 
occupied by the common crowd of soldiers, women, minors, 
and plebeians in general. The stage at Pompeii was 120 
feet long, 24 feet wide, and 5 feet high. The curtain rolled 
downward into a deep groove at the beginning of the play, 
and upward at its close. For the background, there were 


normally two permanent houses with alley between and exits 
to right and left. The exit at the right of them was under- 
stood to lead into the city ; the one at the left, to the harbor 
and foreign countries. There were painted scenes in use, 
some like the modern sliding scenes, and some at the sides 
on large three-faced prisms which were revolved when a 
shift was desired. A ticket or check seems to have been 
used for seating. On hot days awnings might be stretched 
over all and the air cooled by sprinkling, sometimes even 
with perfume. 

There was little writing of drama after Augustan times, 
and none after Hadrian's. Acting also came to an end, so 
far as high-class entertainment was concerned, and the last 
centuries of the Roman Empire saw nothing on the stage 
but mimes and pantomimes, rope dancers, sleight-of-hand 
artists, and the like. The clergy of the Christian Church 
were forbidden the theater altogether, and no Christian could 
be an actor or marry one of the acting class. The disap- 
proval of pagan Rome, expressed up to Nero's time in a law 
excluding the actor from civil rights, was continued in 
Christian Rome. 

Beyond A.D. 533, nothing by way of the stage is traceable 
in the West. When the drama appeared again, it was at the 
altar of the Church, in the liturgical play which developed 
into the mystery play and the Morality. When the interest 
in this had opened the way, the old classical drama of Greece 
and Rome came back again in the languages of Italy, Spain, 
France, England, and Germany, and the modern stage re- 
sulted. The study of the drama leads inevitably to Rome, 
and from Rome to Greece. 


The most ancient, the longest continued, and the most 
popular of the public amusements of ancient Rome was the 
chariot race, which took place in the elongated space curved 
at one end and straight at the other called the circus. Livy 
assumes that its first occurrence was in the time of Romulus, 
who, in order to get wives for his womanless State, "got up 
games in honor of Equestrian Neptune, named them Con- 
sualia," and invited all the neighboring communities, with 
secret instructions to his men to seize their unmarried young 

The actual laying out of a circus ground and the organiza- 
tion of the races into a yearly festival, the Ludi Circenses, 
Livy attributes to Ancus Martius, the fourth king/ * "The 
sports/' he says, "were horses and boxers brought' from 
Etruria. They became the custom, and then kept their 
place as a yearly festival, called variously 'Romani' and 
'Magni.'" We may suppose either that the races began 
with the holiday gatherings of drovers and farmers at which 
they tried the speed of their animals, or that their origin 
was in military exercises and displays, or that they were 
introduced already developed from Etruria, which was 
advanced in its contacts with the East and with Greece. 

Up to 364 B.C., when players from Etruria are said to have 
given the first dramatic entertainment, the races were the 
only amusement provided by the State. The Circus Maxi- 
mus, on the long, low, level space between the Palatine and 



the Aventine, from the beginning and throughout was the 
largest assembly place in Rome, and with the beginning of 
the Christian centuries had a seating capacity of at least 
150,000. It was not the only circus. There were also the 
Circus Flaminius, erected in 221 B.C. at the south end of the- 
Campus Martius near the Capitoline, and visible in large part 
up to the sixteenth century, since when it has disappeared 
in the buildings of modern Rome; the Circus Vaticanus, 
built by Caligula in A.D. 37-41, used by Nero for his notorious 
torment of the Christians, and disappearing at the erection 
of Saint Peter's ; and the Circus of Maxentius, A.D. 309, a 
distance outside the gates on the Appian Way, near the tomb 
of Caecilia Metella. 

The craze for the races which existed in Nero's time was 
still notorious when Ammianus wrote of it in A.D. 359. The 
ears of Rutilius Namatianus, as he sails down the Tiber and 
away from Rome in A.D. 417, are filled with the echoing cheers 
of the multitude for the winning charioteer ; and it is not 
until A.D. 549, with the Gothic chieftain Totila's celebration 
in the Circus Maximus, that we cease to hear of the races- 
Even the Christians yielded at times to the popular enthu- 
siasm, and justified themselves by referring to Elijah's going 
up by a whirlwind into heaven with a chariot of fire and 
horses of fire. 

The Circus Maximus was about two thousand feet long 
and five hundred feet wide, and its exterior rose in three 
stories of marble-veneered arcades. It extended on both 
sides to where the slopes of Palatine and Aventine began. 
Within the lowest arcade were a long promenade and the 
entrance doors and stairways. The east end was somewhat 
curved, and its walls impressive with high towers. The vast 
interior consisted of three parts : the spina, the track, and 
the cavea, or seats. 




The spina was a slender but massive barrier of ornamental 
masonry about one thousand feet long with three cones of 
gilded bronze, the metae, or goal posts, at either end, and with 
seven marble eggs at one end and seven dolphins at the other 
for keeping tally on the laps of the race. A famous foun- 
tain near the Colosseum was called Meta Sudans, the sweat- 
ing goal post, from its shape and the manner in which the 
water behaved. On the spina were several shrines and 
statues, and an obelisk seventy-eight feet high brought by 
Augustus from Heliopolis near Cairo in Egypt, and now 
standing in Piazza del Popolo at the north gate of Rome. 
The obelisk now at the Lateran Church, one hundred and 
five feet high, was placed on the spina of the Circus Maxiinus 
by the Emperor Constantius, A.JX 337-361. 

The arena, between the spina and the seats, was bounded 
at the end where the start was made by the slightly curv- 
ing row of carceres, barriers or cells for the chariots as they 
stood 'waiting for the signal to go. At the other end the 
boundary was the curved line of the seats, pierced by the 
Triumphal Gate, through which at the end of the race 
the victor splendidly passed. The arena here, as well as in 
the amphitheater, got its name from the arena, sand, with 
which the ground was strewn. 

The immense banks of seats, divided into zones and sec- 
tions by means of passageways and stairways, were ap- 
proached through numerous vomitoria, discharges connected 
with flights of stairs leading from the ground under the 
lowest arcade. The space next the track was occupied on 
both sides and at the curved end by a massive bank of 
masonry supporting a platform divided into sections which 
were splendidly fitted up as boxes for the spectators of high- 
est rank. On the side of the Palatine, where the imperial 
palace rose high above the Circus, was the loggia or balcony 



of the emperor and retinue, so constructed as to be entered 
directly from the palace. The seats were marble, at least 
in greatest part, and at their top it is likely that a gallery 
ran. The end occupied by the starting chambers contained, 
above them and the main entrance, a balcony and seats for 

the president or giver of the 
races, dator ludorum, and his 
retinue and friends. 

The chariot races were the 
great feature of all the principaJ 
festivals, though they are mosi 
associated with the Ludi 
Romani or Magni in Septem- 
ber. On the morning of the 
races, the eager and excited 
crowd streams from every direc- 
tion toward the monster build- 
ing. The neighborhood is 
noisy with vendors of all sorts, 
and bookmakers crying their 
bets. There is no admission price, for the games are at the 
State's expense, and many are in their seats long before the 
time set. 

When the endless expanse of white seats is alive with color- 
ful humanity and the scattered crowd of gesticulating en- 
thusiasts that dotted the arena has also disappeared into the 
great assemblage, all eyes begin to watch the monumental 
entrance way at the east end, and all ears are attentive. 
Presently, from the direction of Forum and Sacred Way, the 
sound of trumpets is heard. The roar of the talking multi- 
tude decreases, the sound grows louder and nearer, and every 
eye is focused on the entrance, through which in a moment 
march with jaunty step the brightly costumed players of 




the horn and the pipes. Following them on to the yellow 
sand and along before the brilliant boxes filled with color 
and life at the foot of the never ending ranks of spectators, 
preceded by his twelve lictors, rides in his chariot the consul 
who is to preside for the day, a lordly figure in white and 
purple and gold with ivory scepter in hand and with golden 
garland held above his head by an attendant. Behind the 
consul and his retinue come the many four-horse chariots 
entered for the races of the day, which sometimes amount to 
twenty. The drivers are bright, each in the color of the 
faction for which he is driving red, white, blue, green, 
purple, or gold and the chariots and horses also display 
the colors. The factions are the rival companies that fur- 
nish the races from great horse-breeding and horse-trading 
establishments, and the partisans of the various colors 
representing them are frenzied in their applause as the 
brilliant parade passes, including images of various deities 
on platforms carried by men, with the priests and attendants 
belonging to their service. 

The procession completes the course amid the yells and 
screams and clapping of hands and waving of handkerchiefs 
and scarfs, and at its end quickly disbands. In a few mo- 
ments the consul is at his post in the balcony above, the 
chariots are in the starting stalls below, with attendants at 
the barriers that separate the horses from the arena. The 
multitude is silent and strained; the consul rises and dis- 
plays at arm's length the white signal cloth. In another 
second, with all eyes on him, he lets it fall, the barriers drop 
or are moved aside, and the chariots plunge forward toward 
the track to the right of the spina. The stalls are so situated 
that each is equidistant from the point toward which they 
plunge, so that the "start" is made from the stalls, is fair, 
and is not repeated. 


The Roman circus race had nothing to do with breaking 
records of time. As in the pony races of the Palio at Siena 
to-day, which are started in the same way by the dropping 
of the cable barrier, the sole ambition of the driver was to be 
first at the finish. As is the case at Siena, too, everything 
on the course was fair. As the chariots career down the 
track, each driver as he exhorts and lashes his horses keeps his 
eye on the coming turn about the three gilded goal posts 
at the end of the spina. If he can come sharply around, all 
but touching; them, he will have a great advantage, but he 
will do it at the risk of collision, whether he cuts in ahead of 
his rivals or they cut in ahead of him. If he fails, his career- 
ing and excited horses, the outermost one of which on either 
side is only loosely attached, may pile up with the rival teams 
in a mass of poles and wheels and men, and plunging, snort- 
ing animals, and crush him to death ; or his chariot may 
strike another and be overturned and the horses gallop on, 
dragging chariot and driver in horrible disaster ; for in order 
to drive well he must wear the reins tied fast round his body, 
and he may not be quick enough to sever them with the 
knife he carries for the purpose. 

The fate described is what happened to Orestes in the 
tragic race at Delphi, in the Electro, of Sophocles. 

"Orestes had passed safely through every round, steadfast in 
his steadfast car. At last, slackening his left rein while the horse 
was turning, unawares he struck the edge of the pillar ; he broke 
the axle-box in twain ; he was thrown over the chariot-rail ; he was 
caught in the shapely reins ; and, as he fell on the ground, his colts 
were scattered into the middle of the course. But when the 
people saw him fallen from the car, a cry of pity went up for the 
youth now dashed to earth, now tossed feet uppermost to the 
sky till the charioteers, with difficulty checking the career of 
his horses, loosed him, so covered with blood that no friend who 
saw it would have known the hapless corpse." 



At the passing of the goal posts "the goal post shunned 
by the glowing wheel,' 1 of Horace's first Ode one of the 
marble eggs behind the posts is taken down. At the other 
^nd, where the first of the seven laps is completed, one of 
the dolphins is taken down. Without this tally, and with 
all the rapidity and excite- 
ment, there would be no 
end of misunderstandings. 
When the seventh egg is 
down and one dolphin still 
in air, the chariots do not 
turn as they pass the dol- 
phin, but make for the 
chalk line straight ahead 
near the starting chambers, 
and complete the race. 
The distance run in the 
jeven laps is less than three 
miles. The decision is pro- 
claimed, the devotees of the 
Binning driver and color bellow and scream their satisfac- 
tion as he rides before them with the palm of victory in his 
hand and disappears through the Gate of Triumph. The 
horses are taken away to their stables, the course is cleared, 
and the next race called. 

The successful driver is the darling of his faction and the 
populace. His races and in some cases his victories reach 
into the thousands, and his winnings into the millions. 
Diocles the Spaniard in twenty-four years ran 4,257 races, 
won 1,462 victories, and received for them $1 ,800,000. Mar- 
cus Aurelius Liber won 3,000 times. Horses as well as drivers 
were favorites. Crescens, a Mauretanian driving for the 
Blues, won his first victory in the twenty-fourth race on a 


He is tightly strapped, and has tattooing 

on his arms. A mosaio. 

birthday of Nerva with the horses Circius, Acceptoi 
catus, and Cotynus, and so recorded the facts in an i 
tion found at Rome in 1878- 

The subject of the races may be concluded with a i 

erences from the authors. The rivalry between the 

had not reached its height in Augustan times, whei 

were still only three colors, the Reds, the Whites, a 

Blues. In Cicero's time only the Reds and Whit* 

tended. When Horace makes beautiful use of the < 

race as a simile of life's race for wealth, the circus 

primarily a sport and a spectacle: "The avariciou 

strains to pass this rival and that (for he finds ever a 

rival as he hastes), like the charioteer, who, when th 

whirls along the chariots just released from the si 

chambers, presses upon the horses that have passed hi 

And pays no heed to him he has left behind among t] 

in the race." 

It is not long after this that speculation, the craze i 
colors, and the passion for betting convert the sport 
circus into the frenzied institution it remained throi 
.the Empire. 

"All my time these days," writes Pliny the Younger, ** 
been spending in the most deligjrtful quiet with my table 
books. But you say, 'How could you manage it, in the 
Why, the circus games were on, a kind of show that does not j 
me in the least. There is nothing new in them, nothing dtf 
nothing that does not suffice forever if you have seen il 
That is the reason why I wonder the more that so many thoi 
of grown up men can have so childish an eagerness agai 
again to look on at horses running and men standing in eh 
If they were only attracted by speed on the part of the horse 
skill on the part of the drivers, there would be some excuse 
but the fact is, it is a color they applaud, and a color they 
love with, and if in the middle of a race the one color shoul 


denly be exchanged with the other, the support and applause 
would also be transferred, and straightway people would abandon 
the horses and drivers whom they were following from far away 
and whose names they were shouting. So much influence, so much 
Authority is there in a worthless tunic, I will not say in the eyes 
of the common crowd, which is cheaper still than the tunic, but in 
the eyes of even some persons of character. And when I think 
of their sitting there so insatiable in their enthusiasm for so empty 
and frigid and hackneyed an entertainment, I take a certain pleas- 
ure because a pleasure like this does not take me." 

When Amroianiis Marcellinus, a veteran soldier and a 
visitor to Rome, writes of the races and the people in A.D, 
359, almost three centuries later, neither has changed. 

" These men," writes Ammianus of the common people, 
"spend their whole lives in drinking, and gambling, and brothels, 
and pleasures, and the public spectacles ; and the Circus Maximus 
is their temple, their home, their public assembly ; in fact, their 
whole hope and desire. And you may see in the Forum, and roads, 
and streets, and places of meeting, knots of people collected, quar- 
reling violently with one another, and objecting to one another, 
and splitting themselves into violent parties. Among whom those 
who have lived long, having influence by reason of their age, their 
gray hairs and wrinkles, are constantly crying out that the State 
cannot stand if in the contest which is about to take place the 
skillful charioteer whom some individual backs is not foremost in 
the race, and does not dexterously shave the turning post with the 
trace-horses. . . . And when the wished-f or day of the equestrian 
games dawns, before the sun has risen, they all rush out with head- 
long haste, as if with their speed they would outstrip the very 
chariots which are going to race ; while, as to the event of the con- 
test, they are all torn asunder by opposite wishes, and the greater 
part of them, through their anxiety, pass sleepless nights." 

Three centimes and a half before this, Ovid, in Augustan 
times, was attending the races. In one of the short poems 
called Amores, we find hrm in the Circus Maximus waiting 
for the day's events to begin. Chance has given the flirta- 



tious poet a seat beside a nice-looking young lady whom he 
immediately begins to cultivate. 

" I'm not sitting here because I'm interested in famous horses," 
Ovid says to her, "though I hope the one you bet on will win. I 
came to talk with you, and to sit by you. You can look at the races, 
and I'll look at you. Why do you edge away from me? It will do 
you no good. The line compels us 
to sit close together. That's the 
advantage of the circus, with its 
rules as to space. 

"But now the procession is com- 
ing. Keep silence all. and attend 1 
Now is the time for applause 
the golden procession is coming. 
First is Victory, coming along with 
wings outspread. Come here, god- 
dess, and help my love to win! 
Cheer for Neptune, you who put 
all your trust in the waves i I 
want nothing with the sea; my 
native land for me! Cheer for 
your Mars, soldier ! I detest arms. 
Peace is what I like, and love that 
is found in the midst of peace. And 
Phoebus let him be for the au- 
gurs, and Phoebe for the huntsmen ! 
Minerva let the craftsmen clap 
their hands for you ! You that live 
in the country, rise to Ceres and 
tender Bacchus ! Pollux for the 
boxers ! and Castor for the rider ! 
But we we are for you, lovely 
Venus, for you and your Cupids 
mighty with the bows! Smile on 
my undertakings, O goddess, and change my beloved's mind. 
Make her accept my love ! 

" But your feet are dangling. If you like, you can stick your 
toes in the grating. The circus is clear now for the greatest part 



His body is protected by a casing of 


of the show, and the praetor has started the four-horse cars from 
the even barrier. I see the one you are eager for. He will win if 
he has your applause, whoever he is. The very horses seem to 
know what you want. dear me, he has circled the post in a wide 
curve! What are you doing? The next is hugging close with his 
axle and is gaining on you. What are you doing, you wretch ! 
You will lose my girl the prayer of her heart ! Pull, pull, the left 
rein with all your might! We are standing for a good-for- 
nothing! but call them back, citizens! Toss your togas in 
signal from every side ! Look, they are calling them back. 

4 'The starting chambers are unbarred again and the gates are 
open wide ; the many-colored troop is flying out with reins let 
loose. This time, at least, get by them, and get down to work on 
the open space ! 

" The charioteer has got his palm ; my palm is yet to be won.'* 

In the scandalous Art of Love also, Ovid includes the races, 
and in terms much like those we have just read. 

"Thus love in theaters did first improve ; 
And theaters are still the scene of love. 
Nor shun the chariots, and the courser's race ; 
The Circus is no inconvenient place. . . . 
But boldly next the fail 1 your seat provide ; 
Close as you can to hers, and side by side. . . . 
Then find occasion to begin discourse ; 
Enquire whose chariot this, and whose that horse. 
To whatsoever side she is inclined, 
Suit all your inclinations to her mind. 
But when the statues of the deities, 
In chariots rolled, appear before the prize, 
"When Venus comes, with deep devotion rise. 
If dust be on her lap, or grains of sand, 
Brush both away with your officious hand, 
x* aone there be, yet brush that nothing thence, 
\nd stall to touch her lap make some pretense. . , . 
light service takes light minds, for some can tdl 
Of favors won by laying cushions well." 



At mention of the gladiator, no reader or hearer fails to 
associate with the word the massive building known since 
the Middle Ages as the Colosseum, and called in Roman 
times the Amphitheatrum Flavium because it was erected 
by Vespasian and his son Titus, the first two emperors of the 
Flavian dynasty, whose third and last reigning member was 

The Colosseum was opened by Titus in A.D. 80. It was 
located in the depression between the Palatine, the Esqui- 
line, and the Caelian Hills, and occupied part of the vast 
area, a mile square, in which Nero had built the combination 
of palaces, porticoes, gardens, baths, and ponds called 
Damns Aurea, the Golden House. It was elliptical, about 
600 feet by 500 in diameter, and 160 feet high, and its arena 
measured 280 by 175 feet. Its capacity was about 50,000. 

The first gladiatorial combats in Rome are said by Livy 
to have taken place in 264 B.C. They had existed before 
this in Etruria and Campania, and their origin is to be sought 
in the funeral customs of the early Mediterranean peoples. 
Achilles putting Trojan captives to death at the burning of 
Patroclus' body as a sacrifice to the soul of his friend, sug- 
gests the manner of their beginning. If on such an occasion 
the captives, instead of being slain by their captor, were 
paired off and permitted to fight for their lives, a triple pur- 
pose might be served : the sacrifice to the dead, the addition 




of an event to the entertainment of the funeral games, and 
the stimulation of the martial spirit on ihe part of the specta- 
tors, who were almost wholly members, present, past, and 
future, of the army, the most important part of the State. 
The gladiatorial exhibitions at Rome ceased after the first 
hundred years to have a strict association with funeral games, 


Mighty as it is, about two-thirds of its bulk has disappeared, much of it in the 
building of Saint Peter's. 

and became the people's most exciting entertainment 
"that kind of spectacle," says Cicero, "to which every sort 
of people crowds in the greatest numbers, and in which the 
masses find the greatest delight-" During the last hundred 
and fifty years of the Republic, they were given and paid 
for by men who for the sake of office or other reason were 


seeking the popular favor. Under the Empire they were 
one of the emperor's great resources in the conciliation of 
the people, whether at Rome or in the provinces. They were 
consequently due throughout to private initiative rather 
than to the State as such, were given at irregular intervals 
rather than on fixed dates, and varied greatty in the number 
of days. 

At the first exhibition of gladiators, for the funeral games 
of Brutus Pera in 264 B.C., there were three pairs, but under 
the emperors the number might be hundreds 01 even thou- 
sands, in shows lasting for weeks or months. Up to the time 
of the Colosseum, the permanent amphitheater of Statilius 
Taurus, erected in 30 B.C., was the usual scene of the shows. 
Before that, temporary seating in the Forum or elsewhere 
was provided in case of need. 

The best way to appreciate the character and significance 
of the most notorious of ancient Roman sports is to imagine 
ourselves attending an afternoon's exhibition. The time 
may be supposed to be toward the close of the first century 
after Christ, when the gladiatorial combat was at its highest 
in skill and popularity. 

We have learned of the date of the exhibition and other 
details through a general announcement, perhaps painted 
in red letters, like the following from a wall in Pompeii : 
"Thirty pairs of gladiators furnished by Gnaeus Alleius 
Nigidius Maius, Quinquennial Duumvir, together with their 
substitutes, will fight at Pompeii November 24, 25, 26. 
There will be a hunt. Hurrah for Maius the Quinquennial ! 
Bravo, Paris!" Maius was a rich man of about A.D. 50, 
and Paris perhaps a gladiator. On another wall appears : 
"Twenty pairs of gladiators furnished by Decimus Lucretius 
Satrius Valens, permanent Priest of Nero, son of the Em- 
Deror, and ten pairs of gladiators furnished bv Decirnus 


Lucretius Valens his son, will fight at Pompeii April 8--12. 
There will be a regular hunt, and the awnings. Aemilius 
Celer wrote this, alone and by the light of the moon." In 
the first, the substitutes insuring the show, and the wild- 
beast hunt, venatio, are to be noted. In the second, there is 
a promise of the great canvas awnings to protect the spec- 
tators from the sun. Sometimes there are promised also 
spar&iones, sprinklings of saffron water, to modify the heat. 
Celer is a professional billposter. 

The better to follow the events of the day, we have bought 
and are bringing with us a program containing the names of 
the ^swordsmen, their mode of fighting, the number of times 
they have already fought and won, the name of their patron 
or owner, and the name of the personage who gives the 
exhibition. From this program we know whether or not to 
expect good quality in the fighting, and on it we shall record 
the score of the day. 

Early in the afternoon we find ourselves in one of the eager 
and talkative human currents flowing from every direction 
through the various streets that lead to the great building. 
As we approach the f agade, we cast a glance of appreciation 
on its three stories of travertine arcades, framed in the 
Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian styles, and the fourth story, 
still of wood and supporting the sockets for the masts to 
which the canvas is attached. One of the numerals on our 
ticket indicates the numbered arch through which we must 
pass into the two corridors running about the interior in 
order to reach most conveniently the right one of the many 
stairways whose zigzagging flights conduct the crowd to 
the vomitoria, the openings through which the interior of the 
building is reached. As we suddenly emerge among the 
countless lines of seats encircling the arena and reaching far 
above us as well as below t we feel very small. An usher 


helps us find our section and place, and rents us a cushion 
to temper the hardness of the marble seat. 

After getting settled, we begin to take account of what is 
before and about us. First, so far below us that we feel 
dizzy, is the freshly sanded arena. Back of the strong fence 
separating it from the spectators and protecting them 
against any possible violence from man or animal in it, is a 
platform of masonry twelve feet high supporting many 
splendid seats, all of them like thrones and some of them 
really thrones. A bronze balustrade borders the side of 
the arena. Here we shall presently see the emperor and his 
suite, the chief officials of city and State, including senators, 
and the many other important personages to be found in a 
great capital. These are the "boxes" of ancient times. 

Separated from these places by balustrade and aisle rises 
a girdle of thirty-six rows of seats, the first fourteen of which 
are for the equestrian order and the rest for others distin- 
guished by wealth or station. These thirty-six rows are 
inclosed by a high wall with doors and windows, back of 
which is one of the entrance passages encircling the cavea, 
and above which begins the widest girdle of seats, those 
for the ordinary crowd. The girdle, including a narrower 
girdle at its outer edge for women, whose attendance is not 
encouraged, reaches to the inclosing outer wall of the build- 
ing at its summit. 

Every part of the vast area of seats is rapidly filling. 
Vociferous conversation, the shouting of vendors, and the 
flapping of the great stretches of canvas fill the place with 
a mighty din. The bright light and heat of the day are 
tempered by the shade of the canvas. 

A blare of trumpets and a cheering announce the arrival 
of the imperial party. The emperor, or other person who 
gives the entertainment, called the editor, is in his place at 


the most prominent point on the band of seats nearest the 
arena. He gives the signal, there is the sound of music in 
marching time, and from one of the four gates leading into 
the arena comes the procession of those who are to face 
death for our pleasure, and who quite possibly will be 

4 'Butchered to make a Roman holiday." 

As they pass before the emperor, they halt for a moment to 
address him with the dramatic morituri te salutant "the 
doomed to die salute thee!" and pass on and out to the 
chambers in which they are to await the summons to their 
places on the program. 

After a short preliminary with blunt weapons to prepare 
the performer and the audience for the serious business of 
the spectacle, the first pair is announced. Perhaps its two 
fighters are Samnites, the original heavy-armed type in 
crested helmet and greave for one leg, with oblong shield 
and short sword. Perhaps they are the light-armed Thra- 
cians, with helmet and small round shield, dagger or very 
short curved sword, and greaves for both legs to make up 
for the smallness of the shield. Perhaps they are the type 
called Gauls or murmillones, also heavy-armed, or the type 
in British costume fighting from chariots. Perhaps two 
different types are matched, as the Samnite and the Thra- 
cian ; or the fight is by several on a side ; or there axe the 
novelties, themselves by this time grown familiar: the 
retiariusy with trident, net, and dagger, against the secutor, 
with shield and sword, whom he tries to envelop and render 
helpless in the net, and whom in case of failure he has to 
run fmm until he is able to recover the net and cast again ; 
or the blindfold with two swords ; or the fighters with the 
lasso ; or the dwarf ; or even a woman. 

The excitement of the crowd rises to wonderful heights, 



and sweeps us away with it again and again. There are some 
pairs evenly matched and of extraordinary skill whose dex- 
terity and form arouse frenzied cheering. They fight to 
the draw, and the crowd rewards them at last by approving 
their discharge. A loser suddenly turns what is almost de- 
feat into victory, and the applause is deafening. Another, 

Helmet, shoulder-pieces, leg-protectora. 

for some real or fancied fault in form or spirit, is disapproved, 
and there is a storm of hostile yells that goes far toward 
bringing his defeat. When at last he is disabled and face 
to face with death, his appeal to the giver of the games or 
the emperor for mercy is answered by a wave of the hand, 
giving over the right of deciding to the populace, who with 
shouts of abuse turn their thumbs down. He stands to the 
stroke, collapses on the sand, soaking it with his blood, and 


is dragged away through the death-gate. The red spot and 
red trail are sanded over afresh, and the next pair called. 

The vanquished who has been true to form and fought a 
good fight is recommended to mercy by applause and the 
waving of handkerchiefs. The spiritless, the unwilling, and 
the rebellious have sometimes actually to be driven into 
combat. We hear our neighbors behind talking of one who, 
while being brought to the amphitheater this very day, 
feigned drowsiness, and thus let his head be caught in the 
wheel of the cart and his neck be broken. The crowd at the 
moment cheers itself hoarse for a favorite ; at another, it 
rages with revilement of a craven or some fighter of no ap- 
peal ; and at another sinks back in the silence of fatigue or 
indifference. At the end of each combat we mark the names 
on our program with a V for " Victor," a P for Periit, "Per- 
ished, 77 or an M for Missus, "Let go." Some spectacles 
are sine missione, and then the fight is always to the death. 

When the last match between the swordsmen is finished, 
there is an interval during which we discuss the events just 
witnessed, and relax, while the attendants of the amphi- 
theater hurriedly make ready for the venatio, the hunt. In 
this, beasts taken captive in distant parts of the Empire are 
hoisted in elevators from their dens under the arena, and 
suddenly released on its sands to face a human enemy who is 
expert with arrow, spear, or sword, or to fight one another. 
It may even be that men and women guilty of some crime, 
or known to be of the Christian faith, will be made to meet 
unarmed the fiercest fl.nfmal- 

By the time the program ip over, the sun is low and the 
lessened light under the great canvas shows it. The crowd 
as it slowly disperses through the many exits is much less 
lively than when it came. Soon the streets of the city are 
filled by the streams of those Teturning home, discussing as 



they go the merits and demerits of the dead and the living 
who furnished their afternoon's amusement. 

The amphitheater was sometimes also the scene of naval 
combats, though these fights belonged properly to an arti- 


The scene is in the circus, whose parts the sculptor merely indicates : the emperor 
and empress, or sponsors of the games, in their box ; the seven eggs ; a column and 
statue on the spina. A swordsman and a spearman are fighting a tiger and a Hon. 
A man has been killed. 

ficial lake, called naumachia after the name of the battle 
itself. Such an exhibition could hardly have taken place 
in the Colosseum except before the many rooms, dens, and 
passages were constructed under the arena. 

Such were the sports of the arena in the capital and in 
almost every city of size in the central and western Medi- 


terranean basin. There are notable specimens of the amphi- 
theater still to be seen in Verona, Capua, Pompeii, and 
Pozzuoli; in Aries, Xlmes, and Bordeaux, in France; at 
Cagliari in Sardinia, at Pola and Spalato on the east side of 
the Adriatic, at Italica near Seville, in Spain, and at El 
Djem in Africa, where the fifth in size of these buildings 
overshadows a whole Tunisian village ; to say nothing of 
many smaller ruins. The amphitheater in Verona is still 
used for concert and drama, and those at Aries and Nlmes 
for the bullfight. 

When we contemplate the number of the amphitheaters 
in the Roman world, and remember the ten thousand gladia- 
tors who fought in the exhibitions of Augustus alone, the ten 
thousand who fought in four months at Trajan's celebrations 
of the conquest of Dacia, and the numerous hardly less ex- 
tensive shows that took place in the capital under every 
reign until the sport declined and died in the fifth century, 
we are compelled to charge ancient Roman society with a 
monstrous aggregate of heartless cruelty. However, before 
concluding that the amphitheater and its sports were due 
simply and only to the lust for bloodshed, we should consider 
the gladiatorial combat in all its aspects. Let us summarize. 

First, let us recall its origin in the natural hardness of 
primitive Mediterranean peoples whose normal condition 
was warfare, and who believed in the propitiation of the dead 
by the sacrifice of their enemies at the tomb. 

Let us recall in the next place that in warring civilizations 
hardness as well as courage and skill in the practice of arms 
is a virtue, ani that gentleness and compassion are qualities 
dangerous to the State. When the gladiatorial combat was 
introduced at Rome, the Romans had been a warring race 
for five hundred years, and were to continue a waning race 
until the times of the Empire and the Pax Roman a, two 



hundred and fifty years afterward. The spectacle of men 
expert in the use of arms, self-possessed in the moment of 
mortal danger, and unflinching before the final stroke, could 
easily be regarded as a contribution to the soldierly expert- 


Only a small part of the arena has been left by the excavators, who have exposed 
the corridors, chambers, cages, and elevator arrangements below it. The bases of 
the imperial and senatorial boxes are seen bordering the arena. They are encircled 
by the substructures that supported the other banks of seats. 

ness and soldierly spirit of every man of military age and 
every youthful legionary-to-be who witnessed it. 

In the third place, it is to be remembered that the amphi- 
theater served the State at least in part as a means oi 
criminal discipline. Many of the fighters were noncitizen 
malefactors condemned for the more outrageous crimes, and 


given this chance of redeeming their lives by prowess in 
arms or by the appeal of personal quality to the emperor and 
the multitude. " Sentenced to the arena" was no doubt a 
familiar phrase in the courts of the Roman Empire ; the more 
desperate and the more unfit being sent to the lions, and 
those of better physical quality to the training schools to 
be made ready for combat with their kind. 

In the fourth place, there was the element of sportsman- 
ship. The captive in war might easily prefer the chance of 
victory and freedom to the certainty of sale into lifelong 
slavery in the mines or galleys or on the distant plantations. 
The man who had won safety and freedom might easily be 
attracted by the glamour of applause and by genuine love 
for the excitement of the life to continue as fighter or trainer. 
The enthusiastic populace admired the good sportsman and 
the good fellow, and many a man who was intimate with 
sporting circles was drawn by sheer coveting of notoriety 
into the gladiatorial career. To be the victor in a hundred 
combats, the champion confident against all comers, to feel 
the admiration of fifty thousand glowing pairs of eyes, to 
hear the applause of fifty thousand straining throats and 
fifty thousand pairs of clapping hands, to look up and around 
at the waving of fifty thousand fluttering handkerchiefs and 
scarfs and togas, to be aware, and perhaps even to be care- 
less, of the eager good will of senator and magnate and 
emperor, could carry the gladiator as well as the charioteer, 
in Horace's phrase, "as lord of the earth to the gods above." 
And there were also the humbler but not unappreciated 
favors. Cdadus, in Pompeii, is the "glory" and the "sigh" 
of the girls, pueUarum decus, suspirium pueUarum; and 
Crescens is their adored, puparum dommus. That there 
were rewards in money as well as in fame, it is hardly neces- 
sary to remark. 


But these considerations, while they may explain how the 
gladiatorial combat originated, how its introduction among 
the Romans could be tolerated, and how it might justify 
itself to a degree in the minds of its defenders, do not wholly 
account for its lodgment in Roman society as an institution, 
and its becoming one of the two greatest holiday amusements 
of a world at peace and a State no longer in fear of enemies 
or depending upon the skill and valor of the citizen-soldier. 
There are two reasons for its growth and permanence which 
have nothing to do with religious belief, the military spirit, 
or sportsmanship, but which are grounded in its use as an 
instrument for other ends. 

The first of these reasons was the usefulness of the gladia- 
torial combat as a political and personal instrument. By 
the time of Cicero and Caesar, it was frequent for men who 
stood for office to outbid one another in courting the people 
by means of gladiatorial shows. Not only did the gladia- 
tors exhibit themselves in the service of their candidate 
patron, but accompanied him as a bodyguard, and did not 
hesitate to commit disorderly and violent acts in the streets 
at his command. The letters of Cicero contain many refer- 
ences to the high-handed behavior of the bands of gladiators 
and other roughs employed by Clodius and Milo during the 
quarrels that resulted in the death of Clodius in 52 B.C. 
The Senate was so uneasy because of Caesar's plans for 
exhibitions in the campaign for the aedileship in 65 B.C. that 
it limited Trim to three hundred and twenty pairs. One 
of Cicero's vexations during his governorship in CSlicia was 
the insistence of his young friend Caelius Rufus, curule 
aedile, on Cicero's shipping him panthers. Patiscus has 
sent Curio ten, and Cicero should send Caelius ten times as 
many. As for the emperors, good and bad, there was no 
limit to their giving of gladiatorial shows, whether for the 


sake of personal glory or for the sake of keeping their sub- 
jects contented. At the dedication of the Colosseum in 
A.D. SO, Titus provided gladiators and five thousand beasts. 
In A.D. 249, Philip celebrated the thousandth anniversary ot 
Rome by providing a thousand pairs of gladiators, thirty- 
two elephants, ten tigers, sixty lions, thirty leopards, ten 
hyenas, ten giraffes, twenty wild asses, forty wild horses, 
ten zebras, six hippopotami, and one rhinoceros. Probu? 
in A.D. 281 provided one hundred each of lions and leopards 
from Libya and Syria, three hundred bears, and one hundred 
African lionesses. 

The second cause for the tenacious hold of the amphi- 
theatrical sports was their utilization for commercial pur- 
poses. Like many abuses, ancient and modern, they paid. 
The day that politicians began to see in him an advantage, 
the training and furnishing of the gladiator was already on 
the way to becoming an industry. The industry soon had 
its contractors, barracks, trainers, agents, and recruiters. 
The erection of the first amphitheater, the kindred sports of 
the naval battle and the animal hunt, the arrival of the im- 
perial regime with its increase in the demand for men and 
beasts, the building of the Colosseum, the solicitude of the 
ruler for the popular good will, all went toward the firmer 
lodgment of the deadly spt>rt in the life of the Empire and 
its capital. Its abuses were terrible. They included the 
slaughter of the captive and the criminal for the entertain- 
ment of an idle multitude already surfeited with blood ; the 
wrongful condemnation of the unfortunate and friendless 
who were guilty at most of only minor crimes, the impress- 
ment of the innocent but helpless, the compulsion of the 
slave, all in the desperate search for human material to sup- 
ply the demand of the shows and keep them interesting ; the 
breeding of cruel indifference to suffering ; the encourage 



raent of gambling and of all the triviality and waste and 
degradation that associate themselves with a brutal sport : 
the corruption of politics ; the arming of a dangerous and 
unscrupulous class of men ; and, not least, the glorification 
of wrong ideals and the obscuration of the right in thp minds 
of the rising generation. 

Concerts and opera in the grand style are given here every summer. 

Of course there were persons not attracted by the amphi- 
theater, and there were those who rose above it. There 
was Cicero, who wrote to his friend Marius in Pompeii con- 
cerning the sports he missed by being away from Rome: 
"Why should I think you regretted missing the athletes, you 
who despised the gladiators? . . . And I must tell you, 
lastly, about the beast-hunts two a day for five days ; 


magnificent, no one denies. But what pleasure can it be to 
a man of cultivation when either a poor, weak human being 
is torn by a most powerful beast, or a splendid beast is run 
through with a hunting spear? If these things are to be 
seen, after all you have seen them many a time ; and I, whc 
was there to see, saw nothing new. Last came the day of the 
elephants, by which the ordinary crowd was greatly im- 
pressed, but without showing any pleasure. Quite the con- 
trary, a certain pity was aroused, a kind of feeling that the 
big beast was kin in some way to the human race." Not 
only does Cicero here speak of Marius as despising the 
gladiators, but shows repeatedly in the Orations by contemp- 
tuous allusions to the gladiator that he assumes on the part 
of Senate and jury and people the same feeling he entertains 

Yet the fairly human Younger Pliny can praise his friend 
Maximus for promising the people of Verona a gladiatorial 
exhibition, and can commend the act as a suitable honor to 
the memory of his dead wife. The literature of pagan Rome 
is practically without protest against the amphitheater. 
The average Roman took it for granted, and the remon- 
strances of those who did not were ridiculed, or drowned in 
counter protest, or went unnoticed. The numbers and the 
argument of those who admired the fight as a science and the 
spectacle as an art, who wanted excitement as an escape 
from the monotony of life, who saw no use in opposing what 
seemed the natural and inevitable thing, who profited 
directly by contract or indirectly by the trade of the crowd, 
who argued that the shows increased the business of the city 
and the unity of the Empire, were overwhelming. 

It took three centuries and a half of the growth of the 
Christian spirit, and almost as long a period of general worldly 
decay, to accomplish the extinction of the bloodiest of 


sports. The last gladiatorial fight in the Flavian Amphi- 
theater in Rome took place in A.D. 404, the last known wild- 
beast hunt in A.D. 523. The great building began at that 
time the career of ruin by earthquake, natural decay, and 
the hand of man which converted it into a quarry for the 
building of medieval and Renaissance Rome and left it only 
a third of its former self before the sentiment of modern 
times was aroused to protect it. 

The Colosseum is the ruined and empty monument to an 
unlovely phase of the life of ancient Rome. The deadly 
swordsmanship that soaked and stained its yellow sands 
with crimson no longer ministers to the curiosity, the love of 
excitement, and the greed of men. Yet let those who gaze 
upon it as belonging wholly to the past reflect upon the many 
features the life it represents has in common with the life of 
modern times, and upon the mingling of the good and the 
evil, the beautiful and the ugly, the logical and the illogical, 
that is always present in human behavior. Let them think of 
the American national game, its excitements, its accidents, 
its scandals, its raging crowds, its heroes and their salaries, its 
vested interests. Let them think of the Spanish national 
sport, with its golden sands and bright-hued crowd, its 
brilliant processions, its dexterity and its art, its perils and 
its gallantries, its idolized and princely matadores, its amphi- 
theater in every town, its scientific breeding and training 
farms, its frenzied applause and its heartless derision, its 
cruelty to horses, its Sunday and saint's-day performances, 
its heedlessness of protest, its permeation of every mind. 
Let them think of the chase and the coursing of hare and 
hounds. Let them think of the glittering and flattering 
splendors of the cinema palace, its cheap and coarse crowds, 
its capable and unscrupulous managers, its boastfully ex- 
pensive and coarsening pictures, its pretentions to virtue 


as educator and moralist, its undisguisable commercialism, 
its enthusiastic defenders and its bitter enemies, and the 
thousand economic ramifications that invest it with per- 
manence. Let them think of student athletics, the million- 
dollar stadium, the dependence of the college upon the 
winning team, the corruptions and hypocrisies of recruiting 
and retaining the champion, the interest of the college in the 
gate receipts, the interest of the community in the money- 
spending crowd, the tyrannies of training, the farce of the 
study requirement for men whose time and strength and 
attention are demanded first of all by the game, the general 
debauchery of mind and tongue as the time for the contest 
approaches, the mob of the old grads returning to see the 
team cover itself and Alma Mater with glory, the betting and 
the extortion, the frenzied silliness of cheer-leader and 
rooter "helping to win the game," the mingling of brawn and 
brains in the bruising, crushing, desperate effort to get 
through, the jeers and insults and threats and abuse for 
referee or player or rooter, the pandemonium of exit, the 
"good time" of the evening and night, the apathy and 
languor of the days that follow, the assumption that without 
it all the college would go to ruin. Let them think, finally, 
of pugilism : cf the genius employed in its management and 
advertising, of racial and class feeling sweeping over the 
country and over other countries, of its gigantic crowds and 
its admission charges in the grand style, of its betting, of the 
mingled curses and prayers and exhortations yelled at the 
ringside, of the delirium of applause at the sight of the suc- 
cessful blow and at the sight of blood, of the willingness for 
death kself rather than the defeat of the favorite and the 
loss of stakes, of the prizes in money and fame that come to 
the winner, of the thousands of smaller champions and the 
dioaes that center about them, of the promoters who ex- 


ploit them, of the wholesale conversion of society to tolera- 
tion by the astute advertising of the scientific side of the 
"art of self-defense" and the ignoring of its brutal side. 

Reflections like these, with the comparisons they suggest, 
may quite properly leave us unshaken in the conviction 
of the gains humanity has made since the amphitheater 
saw its cruel killings, but they will not leave us quite so sure 
that the dead and empty ruins are all that survive in modern 
society of the ancient life they represent. 



There exists to-day no exact equivalent of either the 
ancient Roman baths or the ancient Roman custom of the 
bath. The word to-day denotes, in the singular, merely an 
act of cleanliness ; in the plural, a health resort with springs 
having curative properties, or a thermal establishment for 
the treatment of the ailing. There are hot baths, sulphur 
baths, mud baths, Turkish baths. To think of the Roman 
baths, balnea, thermae, in any such way would be to see only 
part of the truth. 

The description of an ancient example of the baths will 
make clear both the building and its uses. Let us take for 
the purpose the baths of the Emperor Diocletian, the huge 
remnants of which are still to be seen as one comes from the 
railway station in the northeast part of Rome. These baths, 
opened in A.D. 306 after the abdication of the Emperor, were 
the largest in the Roman Empire and the last but one to be 
erected in Rome. They differed from the baths in Rome and 
Pompeii of three hundred years before in size and appoint- 
ments, but not in essential characteristics. 

The Baths of Diocletian measured about four hundred and 
fifty yards, or a quarter of a mile, on a side. The establish- 
ment consisted of an inclosing wall of concrete faced with 
brick and probably covered with stucco. At two corners of 
this girdle were two large circular chambers with solid brick 
walls, flanked each by a rectangular room, and between them 
the girdle wall projected in a semicircle. One of the domo- 




like chambers is now the round church of San Bernardo, and 
the other also has a modern use. The limit of the semi- 
circle of wall is preserved in the curved f agades of the build- 


200 Meters 


ings fronting the Piazza dell' Esedra. On the remaining 
three sides the wall accommodated smaller semicircular and 
rectangular rooms. 

Inside the inclosure, the bather found himself facing the 
building proper, which was surrounded by a spacious 


promenade, and arcaded in two stories in the Ionic and 
Corinthian styles. It measured about 300 yards by 175, and 
contained the three essential parts of the Roman baths. 
These were the frigidarium, or cold bath ; the caldarium, or 
hot bath ; and the tepidarium, or tepid bath. The calda- 
rium has disappeared ; the central hall, over 200 feet by 80, 
has been since Michelangelo's time the transept of Santa 
Maria degli Angeli, one of the largest churches of Rome. 
The vestibule of the church is the ancient circular tepidariurn 
that lay between the central hall and the caldarium. 

Besides these three regular chambers, the largest of which 
was three hundred feet long, there were the usual dressing 
rooms, apodyteria, the open-air porticoes for games and othei 
physical exercise, palaestrae, and many smaller chambers for 
a variety of uses libraries of Greek and Latin once housed 
in the Forum of Trajan; lecture halls and lounges; ad- 
ditional baths and gymnasiums and dressing rooms ; store- 
rooms for the usual bath supplies of towels, perfumes, 
unguents, and strigils for the removal of oil and sand; 
offices for the stewards; rooms for the attendants and 
helpers, waiting rooms for the slaves and sedan-chair men ; 
refreshment rooms, and perhaps quarters for masseurs and 
medical advisers. The large semicircular space now forming 
the Piazza dell* Esedra was used as a theater. 

The Baths of Diocletian were supplied by the Marcian 
Aqueduct, built 400 years before and bringing water from 
57 miles away in the Sabine Mountains. Accumulated out- 
side the establishment in a capacious reservoir 300 feet long 
and 50 wide, the water was distributed through larger an<J 
smaller pipes to all the tanks and pools and tubs and jets 
with which the chambers were supplied. The cold, hot, 
and tepid rooms had tanks at ends .and sides and probablj* 
pools in immense round basins of marble and granite sup 


ported on bases at convenient places on the pavement. 
There were large tanks for plunging, smaller ones for quieter 
bathing, many individual baths in the smaller rooms, and 
many portable tubs for use on the larger floors. The main 
pool in the frigidarium of Caracalla's baths, built ninety 
years earlier, was about 80 by 170 feet. The exercise 
porticoes were also supplied with convenient plunges. 

The air and water varied in temperature in the three main 
parts of the building. The caldarium walls were lined with 
hot-air ducts of tile behind the stucco and near the surface, 
the tepidarium walls were constructed in the same way but 
with the ducts set deeper so that the heat was slower, and 
the frigidarium was left unheated. The caldarium was 
further heated by hot air circulating under the floor, which 
was supported by many slender brick pillars. 

This slow but even and sensible method of heating is 
employed in the American Episcopal Church in Rome and in 
one of the churches in Liverpool. Instead of streaming 
through registers or rising from radiators to the ceiling, the 
heat begins in the pavement and permeates directly the total 
volume of air. 

The graded heating of the water for the caldarium and the 
tepidarium was provided by placing the furnace nearer the 
former. In earlier and smaller establishments, the air was 
sometimes tempered by a large brazier, such as survives in 
Pompeii, though the hanging floor was invented a hundred 
years before Christ, and the heating of the walls soon 

The opening of the baths in Rome was fixed in Hadrian's 
time at two o'clock, but varied according to period, place, 
and circumstance. The manner of their use varied also. 
Earlier or later in the day, according to the hour at which his 
business left him free, the bather appeared, alone or attended 



by a slave with the necessary towels and other articles. If 
he was vigorous and had the serious purpose of keeping fit, 
he began in the palaestra with bowling or ball, or other more 
or less strenuous exercise; then stripped in the dressing 
room and was given a rub with perfumed oil, or, if he had 

The little brick pillars by which the floor was supported are seen partly restored 
in the foreground. Some of the floor with the pillars entire occupies the back- 
ground. Hot air circulated under the floor thus suspended. 

stripped for the exercise, was relieved of the dirt and oil by 
the use of the strigil ; went into the tepid room for a first 
bath; took a sweat and a second bath in the hot room; 
finished with a cold plunge and a rub, dressed, and was 
ready for other recreation or for dinner. If he had no 
settled program, he migfrt make the operation short by 


exercising, using the strigil, rubbing, taking a cold plunge, 
and dressing; or might prolong it in any way his fancy 

Not every patron of the baths came to them for the same 
purpose. There were those who came for mere cleanliness, 
and there were those who came for the recreation of a tired 
body. There were those who came for the relief of ailments, 
and those who came as a preparation for dinner. Some 
came to enjoy the luxury of being worked over and to see 
who else was there. There were some who had appoint- 
ments, social or business or literary. Sometimes, according 
to the satirists, the poet was there, reciting his verses in the 
midst of the defenseless bathers. "How pleasantly the 
vaulted space echoes the voice!" he says to himself in 

Such was the building that housed the ancient Roman 
baths, and such was the institution of the baths. Like other 
institutions, it was a growth. It began in rustic Latium 
with the ordinary custom of country people, a daily washing 
of the dirt from hands and face and feet, and at intervals a 
wash all over. With the growth of the city and development 
of urban tastes, the richer, the cultivated, and the traveled 
aot only bathed every day, but made the daily bath the 
correct thing socially. The homes of the wealthier included 
ever more elaborate baths, and the growth of demand 
among the less wealthy of the middle class soon brought into 
being the public bath. Its attractions were increased first 
by the addition of conveniences to the bath itself, and then 
by the addition of hygienic, medical, and athletic features. 
The bath became not only a social requisite, but a cure and 
a recreation. With the addition of other facilities, such as 
lounges, lecture rooms, reading rooms, and porticoes for 
games and promenades, it became an amusement and a 



luxury. For the classes of highest rank and greatest wealth, 
it became the usual preliminary to dining. With the 
expansion of the Empire, the general increase of prosperity, 
and the rise of standards of living, the numbers of the com- 
mon people who used the baths increased throughout the 
Roman world, but especially 
in the capital. Not only did 
contractors build them as an 
investment, but the ambi- 
tious, the patriotic, the phil- 
anthropic, the public-spirited 
citizen, and, above all, the 
benevolent or anxious em- 
perors, provided the means 
for their erection; and many 
were built at the public ex- 
pense. They were rarely 
free of charge, but prices were 
scaled in such a way that 
none but the absolutely pen- 
niless were denied the pleas- 
ure; and there were times 
when some one's generosity 
removed the fee entirely. 

The number, size, and 
splendor of the great bathing 
resorts in the city of Rome is an impressive testimonial to 
the prominence of the bath in ancient life. The list of the 
major establishments includes the baths of Agrippa, opened 
in 19 B.C. near the Pantheon ; of Nero, A.D. 64, in the same 
neighborhood ; of Titus, A.D. 80, near the Colosseum ; of 
Trajan, some time in A.D. 98-117, also near the Colosseum- 
of Sura, a friend of Trajan, on the Aventine ; of CommoduiS 


This may represent the tepidariuzn. 
Fountains, plunges, pools, and basin? 
were conveniently distributed. 


reigned A.D. 180-193, on the Caelian; of Septimius 
Serenas, AJ>. 193-211, on the Caelian; of Caracalla, in 
A.r>. 216, south of the Palatine; of Alexander Severus, who 
in A.D. 228 rebuilt the baths of Xero ; of Decius, in A.D 250, 
on the Aventine ; of Diocletian, in A.D. 306, on the farther 


This is the first prominent fragment of ancient Rome to be seen by the visitoi 
emerging from the railway station. 

Quirinal and Viminal; of Helena, mother of Constantine, 
on the farther Esquiline near the present Church of Santa 
Ooce ; of Constantine, A.D. 312-337, on the sloping end of 
the Quirinal. 

Most of these establishments were still in existence, and 
many of them in use, when the last was built. The Baths 
of Diocletian had a capacity of three thousand ; the Baths 


of Caracalla, sixteen hundred. They were solidly built 
in concrete faced with brick, and splendid with stucco and 
marble veneering and decoration, with paneled vaultings 
and ceilings in gilt and color, polished walls, and brilliant 
floors in mosaic. Many were rich in sculptural pieces. 
The Farnese Bull and the Farnese Hercules were among the 
finds in the ruins of Caracalla's baths; the Laocoon was 
discovered in the Baths of Trajan. Both these establish- 
ments are still represented bj monster ruins, and many of the 
others exist in considerable fragments. Nothing is more 
familiar on the many sites of ancient Roman towns in remot- 
est parts of Europe and Africa than the great heaps of ruined 
concrete walls and vaults, long ago collapsed, that bring us 
witness of the most universal and the least vicious luxury of 
Roman civilization. 

And yet these ruins of major establishments do not repre- 
sent the whole truth. We are told that the generosity of 
Agrippa in 33 B.C. provided for free bathing in a hundred 
and seventy establishments in Rome. These places have 
left no name, and there were others like them in every city, 
large and small, A nameless village near Pliny's Laurentine 
estate had three public baths. 

There were also, in places widely scattered over the 
Roman world, the curative baths that were visited prin- 
cipally by those in search of health the sulphur baths 
still Tised at Bagni, near Tivoli ; the baths at Aquisgranum, 
now Aix; at Aquae Aureliae, now Baden-Baden ; at Bath 
in England. These do not properly concern us here. 

The ancient baths were thus far more than the means of 
cleanliness. They were that, but they were also hygienic, 
pathological, recreational, athletic, social, intellectual, cul- 
tural. They were the ancient city club, Y. M. C. A., golf, 
community center, gymnasium, playground, amusement 



park, beauty parlor, business men's rendezvous, country 
sojourn, and bathing beach. They were warm and comfort- 
ing in winter ; in summer they were thronged with seekers 
for relief from heat and fatigue. The modern Roman, in the 
dog days goes in thirty minutes by huge electric trainloads to 
the beach at Ostia, twenty miles away, cools himself in the 
sea and toasts himself on the sands, meets friends, indulges 

One of the many giant remnants of the baths found everywhere in Roman territory, 

mildly in the less wholesome diversions of the beach resort, 
and returns to his home refreshed if not unf atigued in the 
incomparable cool of the Roman summer evening. The 
tired business man of ancient Rome was at least two hours 
from the sea, but he had the baths at his door. 

It remains to enliven our imagination of the Roman bath 
by letting a Roman himself discuss the subject. Let us look 


over the philosopher Seneca's shoulder as he writes, not 
Daany years before his death in A.I>. 65, to his fnend Lucilius. 
Directly and indirectly, he will tell us interesting things. 

"Hang me if silence is as necessary as people believe to a man who 
has shut himself away to study. Here I am, with all kinds of noises 
sounding from every side. I am in lodgings right over a bath. 
Imagine for yourself now every manner of noise that can be hate- 
ful to the ear. When the more strenuous are going through their 
exercises, swinging their hands heavy with weights of lead and 
either putting lots of muscle into it or making believe they do, I 
can hear their gruntings as they hold in and then let out their 
breath, and then their wheezy and labored blowing. And when 
it is my luck for the fellow to be one of the lazy sort who is 
satisfied with just a nobody's rubbing down, I hear the smack of 
the hand as it crashes on to his shoulders, varying in sound accord- 
ing as it comes down flat or hollowed. But if one of your ball- 
scorers happens along and begins to keep count of the balls, it's 
the finishing touch. Then add the tough, and the thief caught 
in the act, and the fellow who enjoys the sound of his own voice 
in the bath ; and then add to them the fellows who jump into the 
tank and hit the water with a mighty splash. Besides these, 
whose voices, if nothing else, you can't object to, think of the 
hair-plucker continually squeezing out his thin, scratchy voice 
in order to get himself noticed, and never stopping his noise ex- 
cept when he is jerking the hairs from someone's armpits and 
making him, yell instead. And then there is the cake-seller and 
his various cries, and the sausage man, and the pastryman, and 
the whole tribe of vendors from the cookshops, everyone hawking 
his wares in his own particular tune. . . . Yet I swear to you 
that this racket bothers me no more than the waves of the sea or a 

Again, Seneca writes of a visit to the country estate of 
Scipio Africanus at Liternum in Campania, north of Naples. 
The name Villa Literno has been given to a station in the 
neighborhood on the new line from Borne to Naples via 


"I am resting at the country house which once belonged to 
Scipio Af ricanus himself. ... I have inspected the house, which 
is constructed of hewn stone; the wall, which encloses a grove; 
the towers also, buttressed out on both sides for the purpose of 
defending the house; the well, concealed among buildings and 
shrubbery, large enough to keep a whole army supplied ; and the 
little bath, buried in darkness according to the old style, for our 
ancestors did not think that one could have a hot bath except in 
the dark. It was therefore a great pleasure to me to contrast 
Scipio's ways with our own. Think, in this tiny recess the 'terror 
of Carthage/ to whom Rome owes thanks that she has been cap- 
tured but once, used to bathe a body wearied with work in the 
fields ! For he was accustomed to keep himself busy and to culti- 
vate the soil with his own hands, as the good old Romans were 
wont to do. Beneath this dingy roof he stood; and this floor, 
mean as it is, bore his weight. 

"But who in these days could bear to bathe in such a fashion? 
We think ourselves poor and mean if our walls are not resplendent 
with large and costly mirrors ; if our marbles from Alexandria are 
not set off by mosaics of Numidian stone, if their borders are not 
faced over on all sides with difficult patterns, arranged in many 
colors like paintings; if our vaulted ceilings are not buried in 
glass ; if our swimming pools are not lined with Thasian marble, 
once a rare and wonderful sight in any temple pools into which 
we let down our bodies after they have been drained weak by 
abundant perspiration; and finally, if the water has not poured 
from silver spigots. 

"I have SD far been speaking of the ordinary bathing establish- 
ments. What shall I say when I come to those of the freedmen? 
What a vast number of statues, of columns that support nothing, 
but are built for decoration, merely in order to spend money! 
And what masses of water that fall crashing from level to level ! 
We have become so luxurious that we will have nothing but 
precious stones to walk upon. 

"In this bath of Scipio's there are tiny chinks you cannot 
call them windows cut out of the stone wall in such a way as 
to admit light without weakening the building ; nowadays, how- 
ever, people regard baths as fit only for moths if they have not 
been so arranged that they receive the sun all day long through 


the widest of windows, if men cannot bathe and get a coat of tan 
at the same time, and if they cannot look out from their bath tubs 
over stretches of land and sea. So it goes; the establishments 
which had drawn crowds and had won admiration when they were 
first opened are avoided and put back in the category of vener- 
able antiques as soon as luxury has worked out some new device, 
to her own ultimate undoing. 

"In the early days, however, there were few baths, and they 
were not fitted out with any display. For why should men elab- 
orately fit out that which costs a penny only, and was invented for 
use, not merely for delight? The bathers of those days did not 
have water poured over them, nor did it always run fresh as if from 
a hot spring ; and they did not believe that it mattered at all how 
perfectly pure was the water into which they were to leave their 
dirt. t Ye gods, what a pleasure it was to enter those dim baths, 
covered with a common sort of roof, knowing that therein your 
hero Cato, as aedile, or Fabius Maximus, or one of the Cornelii, 
had tempered the water with his own hand ! For this also used 
to be the duty of the noblest aediles to enter these places to 
which the populace resorted, and to demand that they be cleaned 
and warmed to a heat required by considerations of use and health, 
not the heat that men have recently made fashionable, as great 
as a conflagration so much so, indeed, that a slave condemned 
for some criminal offense now ought to be bathed alive ! It seems 
to me that nowadays there is no difference between 'the bath is 
on fire/ and 'the bath is warm.' 

"How some persons nowadays condemn Scipio as a boor because 
he did not let daylight into his perspiring-room through wide win- 
dows, or because he did not roast in the strong sunlight and dawdle 
about until he could stew in the hot water ! 'Poor fool/ they say, 
* he did not know how to live ! He did not bathe in filtered water ; 
it was often turbid, and after heavy rains almost muddy V But 
it did not matter much to Scipio if he had to bathe in that way ; 
he went there to wash off sweat, not ointment. And how do you 
suppose certain persons will answer me? They will say : 'I don't 
envy Scipio ; that was truly an exile's life to put up with baths 
like those/ Eriend, if you were wiser, you would know that 
Scipio did not bathe every day. It is stated by those who have 
reported to us the old-time ways of Borne that the Romans washed 


only their arms and legs daily because those were the members 
which gathered dirt in their daily toil and bathed all over only 
once a week. Here someone will retort : 'Yes; pretty dirty fel- 
lows they evidently were ! How they must have smelled.* But 
they smelled of the camp, the farm, and heroism. Now that 
spick-and-span bathing establishments have been devised, men 
are really fouler than of yore. What says Horatius Flaccus, when 
he wishes to describe a scoundrel, one who is notorious for his 
extreme luxury? He says, 'Buccillus smells of perfume ' " 


We have been acquainting ourselves with what may be 
called Roman amusements in the grand style. The theater, 
the circus, the amphitheater, and the baths were four great 
public institutions involving vast outlay and patronized bj 
the citizenry in masses. 

If we were to stop here, we should know less intimately 
than is desirable the human side of the ancient Roman. 
While all these amusements represent the use he made of his 
leisure time, and while the drama and the diversions of the 
baths did not quite so completely as amphitheater and 
circus force the surrender of his own self to the self of the 
crowd, all four were collective or mass amusements, and in 
all four the individual was absorbed or at least obscured by 
the multitude. If we are to know the Roman personally, we 
must follow him away from the excitement of the crowd. 
We must see what he does in smaller groups, in his family 
and among his friends, and how he acts and what he enjoys 
when by himself and choosing for himself. Was he a lively 
person ? Would he have been a pleasant person to meet ? 

This is a difficult undertaking. The last thing we are able 
to appreciate in another race than our own, excepting 
religion, is its play of spirit. The Romans are alien to us 
not only in race but in space and time. Their painting is 
almost entirely lost, and their sculpture is in fragments, and 
art, besides, does not usually deal with life in its common 
moments. Their literature was not so easily published as 



wealthy citizen and emperor, with shrubbery and fountains 
and vendors and refreshment stands, and children darting 
about in their play while their nurses and mothers sat with 
their spinning and knitting. There was the Tiber, along 
whose banks it was pleasant to walk, and there was the prom- 
enade on the sunny embankment, agger } mentioned by 
Horace, once the fortification of Servius Tullius crossing the 
Esquiline. There were the pleasures of eating and drinking, 
whether on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, or in its 
room or little open-air garden, or at home with the family. 
There was dining in a mend's garden under huge pine and 
white poplar mingling their branches above the grass and 
shrubbery and streamlets, or in splendid halls with mosaic 
floors and painted walls and coffered ceilings and tall pillars 
of the world's richest marbles. There were visits to the 
villas or country houses, plain or magnificent according to 
the owner's fortune or position. There were genial meetings 
of the accidental sort, and all the pleasant contacts of a 
people moving in the open air of mild winters and fervid 
summers. There were window and balcony to lean from as 
you talked with neighbors across the court or alley. You 
came upon your friends in the evening sitting at their doors, 
or walking in the street or public garden, at the running 
water of the fountain or hydrant, filling the big bronze jars 
to carry home on their heads, sitting at the games or the 
play, riding in their carriages, doing their daily shopping, 
hurrying to the baths, going their way to the office and the 
day's business. You asked and were asked many times the 

Here we have come to a striking difference between 
ancient and modern times. The ancient Roman had no 
newspaper beyond the scant and scantily circulated acia 
diurna, or daily Government news. He had no printing 



press, no daily papers, no magazines, no picture news, no 
comic journals, no comic strips, no advertising worth the 
mention. Books were published, and published in quantity, 
but they were not in any targe quantity fiction, they were 
not trifling, and they were not written for and not rsad by 

I I . ^: 

*'i "fc. , 
tf 'I' 


The Laghetto of the Villa Borghese. The ancient gardens must be imagined 

as equally charming. 

the common man, and not by many women and girls. 
There was a cultivated class which read and wrote, and the 
proportion formed by those who read with real thoroughness 
and wrote with distinction was probably greater than in our 
own day of quantitative reading and writing ; but outside of 
these there was no great population reading for news and 
general information, culture, and entertainment. With the 


vast majority, the tongue and the ear, and not the page, 
were the medium of communication with the world of fact, 
thought, and sentiment. The spoken word was all-impor- 
tant in the average life, as indeed it continued to be until 
a century ago, when the printed message really began to 
reach the masses, and as it continues to a great extent to-day 
in lands too poor, too wise, or too distrustful to attempt the 
education of the masses- 
Let it not be too hastily concluded, however, that the 
ancient Roman dependence upon tongue and ear was a total 
disadvantage, either for knowledge or happiness. The 
Mediterranean lands are open-air countries, invite the con- 
tact of man with man, and afford the maximum natural 
encouragement of speech in public and private ; the person 
who talks and listens much, and hears and expresses again 
and again, is likely both to accumulate much practical knowl- 
edge and to have many definite ideas ; and it requires nothing 
prof ounder than a little observation to be convinced that the 
human being is never better entertained than when he is 
talking. To the eye at least, and probably in reality, the 
happiest part of Rome to-day is the Trastevere, where the 
printed page has little to do with life, and all the waking 
minutes in the glowing Roman summer not given to work 
are spent in walking and sitting and talking in the streets and 

If we inquire next what minor diversions the Roman 
engaged in, such as our cards and other social games, we 
find little to note. There were the dice, of ivory, stone, or 
wood ; there were tali, originally the knuckle or ankle bones 
of sheep or goats, but made too of ivory and other material, 
which served the children as jaekstones and were used also 
like dice ; there were flipping and matching of coins ; there 
was gambling by means of these games and others, and there 


were the usual more or less unsuccessful attempts of law to 
stop it. There were no card parties, though it seems im- 
possible that there were no card games ; there were, so far 
as can be known, no boy-and-girl or men-and-women parties, 
no teas, no smokers, no social dancing of our sort. The 


Three games are shown : at the left, a " marble " game with nuts ; in the center, 
two boys strike the holder of a rope until he catches them ; at the right, nuts or 
balls are rolled down an incline. 

dancing of antiquity, so far as amusement was concerned, 
was likely to be either the simple folk-dancing of the villagers 
or the professional dancing of the stage. In the latter, no 
citizen could participate without loss of respect. With the 
richer classes, the formal dinner seems to have occupied the 
place of all these ; with the less wealthy and the poor, less 
formal dinners and informal family gatherings. With the 
middle and lower classes in general, there was no doubt 
frequent exchange of visits. The modern Roman fondness 
for little dining excursions to simple garden restaurants out- 
side the city gates is not unlikely to have existed in ancient 

In the realm of physical diversion, the differences are 
somewhat less pronounced, and are quite as easily explained. 


The Roman children indeed seem to have been like other 
children, though they do not figure largely in Roman 
literature, and but slightly in the arts of painting and 
sculpture. They had their pets and played with them, such 
as dogs, birds, donkeys. The cat seems not to have been 
common. They played circus racing, and soldiers, and no 
doubt gladiators. They played with jackstones ; they played 
leapfrog and blindman's buff; they must have played 
school : they must have had dolls and toys, though not much 
remains to show it ; they rolled the hoop. They probably 
counted out, and they had their sing-songs, such as the one 
we suspect that Horace alludes to 

Rex ens si recte fades, 
Si non fades non ens. 

"King you'll be if you play fair, 
Never a king if you don't play fair." 

They ran races and wrestled and tumbled and shouted and 
screamed to gratify their restless, growing little bodies. 

The older brothers and the fathers of the little Romans, 
however, engaged in bodily exercise as the result of reason 
rather than physical joy or the spirit of sportsmanship. In 
the times of the citizen-soldier, being fit for the ranks meant 
all the physical exercise a man needed or had time for. 
Under the Empire, if he was not of an occupation requiring 
physical effort, his physical fitness depended much on his 
pride in being master of the manly and soldierly arts, and, if 
not on that, on the desire to keep in health. There was the 
Campus Martius, the soldiers' field and playground through 
the centuries, there was the Tiber, there were tne gardens, 
and there were the baths. He could swim in the Tiber, and 
in the Campus he could ride, run and jump, throw the spear 
and discus, wrestle and box, play handball and three- 



cornered catch, and bowl. He could do, and probably did, 
most of these by preference in the baths, where it was more 
convenient. Possibly some of the gardens were equipped in 
a small way. Many went hunting or fishing. The wild 
boar was taken by beating the woods with dogs and driving 
him into a strong net or killing him with the spear. Babbits 
were snared, and birds taken by snares or birdlime. Pliny 
the Younger writes of taking his tablets with him on a hunt- 


The boar is attempting the side stroke which the tusk made so effective* 

ing excursion, and writing as he sat waiting at the net for the 
boar to come. Fishhooks are among the interesting finds in 

But we hear of no cross-country runs, no ball with bats, no 
football, no championship teams, no Marathons, no records 
made or broken, no great meets and glorifications. For 
rivalry and great excitements, there were the circus and the 
amphitheater, and the boxers with loaded gloves. Athletics 



proper were a means to an end. Cicero in the essay On Old 
Age expresses their spirit: "We must have regard for 
health; we must engage in moderate exercise; we must 
take enough food and drink to replenish our powers, not to 
weigh them down. And we must do not only what we can 
for the body, but much more for the mind and soul." A 


rather sensible ideal, and entertained to-day by many people 
outside the college atmosphere or beyond the college age. 

Yet the difference between ancient Rome and twentieth- 
century America as regards athletics is accidental, not 
fundamental. If racing and boxing to-day filled as great a 
place in our national life as they did in the life of Rome, 
athletics with us would take the same modest place as it did 
with them. 

One more factor in the diversions of the Roman should be 
considered. This is the enjoyment he got from his own 
thoughts as he went about his occupation or moved among 
his fellows or sat apart in contemplation of them. The man 


who is not consciously both a spectator and a part of the 
comedie humaine, who never notices the absurdities of men's 
behavior as they spend themselves in the racing and chasing 
and mining and perspiration of their little lives, is in a poor 
way for real diversion. It is this bustling type, without 
resources in itself and always greatly in the majority, that 
has for all time made the more brutal sports and the grosser 
entertainments the paying thing. It has also served as a 
background to bring into relief the charm of the delicate wit 
and humor which mark refinement and -are its most dis- 
tinctive quality. 

Wit is capacity for the perception of the truth, the power 
to see accurately and immediately the relationships of 
things. The fit expression of wit must be brief, rapid, and 
pleasing. Humor, at least in its most frequent aspect, is 
that part of wit which is employed in the perception of the 
incongruous, the droll, the absurd, the surprising. The 
expression of humor as well as of wit will be neat, but it will 
be also leisurely and genial. Without further definition or 
distinction, let us try to appreciate the part they piayed in 
the lighter vein of Roman life. 

First, it must be noted that the humor of the exaggerated, 
grotesque, and explosive kind which is known to the world as 
American has left scant traces in Roman literature and art. 
The farcical absurdities and boisterous expression of Plautus, 
in his Braggart Soldier, in the twin Menaechmi, in Amphit- 
ruo and Sosia returning home and coming upon themselves 
in Jove and Mercury disguised as another Amphitruo and 
Sosia ; the social atrocities of the newly rich Trimalchio ; 
the Lilliputian pigmies and monkeys and other grotesqueries 
on the walls of Pompeii show that the broad and loud 
type, as might be expected, was not unknown ; but we can 
hardly believe it thrived as it does with us to-day. It must 


be remembered that the ancient world was less fluid than 
ours, that theie were no "columns" and that consequently 
the circulation of the comic and the education of the public 
in its ways were less pronounced. It should be noted, too, 
tliat the Eurcpean humor of to-day is less exuberant than 
the American, and because of conditions which were present 
also in ancient times. To have our exaggerated willingness to 
laugh and to start a laugh requires a well-fed body and a 
mind that is free from apprehension and full of confidence ; 
and these are possible only when there is plenty of space 
for freedom of movement and expansion, and plenty of this 
world's goods to win. Europe has not and never had, even 
in the times of Roman expansion, so grea; an abundance and 
so nearly a universal possession of prosperity. 

It is time to illustrate by example the quieter sort of 
humor to be found here and there in the ancient Roman page , 
It must be remembered that in transfer from language to 
language, or culture to culture, or period to period, the 
flavor of bon mot and jest always loses much of the piquancy 
it had as it left the lips of its inventor. It is not so much the 
substance of what is preserved that is important as the 
indication it affords of the philosophic, witty, and genial 
strain in character which made life a richer thing, 

In a long passage in De Oratore on the employment of wit 
and humor by the orator, Cicero relates the anecdote of 
Scipio Nasica calling on the poet Ennius. 

"Having gone to see the poet Ennius, and being told by the serv- 
ant girl as he asked for him at the door that he was not in, Nasica 
aw that she had said so at the bidding of her master, and that 
he really was in the house. A few days afterward, when Ennius 
had come to Nasica's house and was asking for him from the door- 
way, Nasica called out that he was not at home. Then said 
Ennius, 'What! don't I recognize your voice?' Whereupon 
Nasica: 'Aren't you the shameless man! When I came asking 


for you, I took your servant girl's word for yoiir not being in, and 
won't you take mine when I tell you myself? ' " 

In his professional life, Cicero was noted for the quickness 
and sharpness of his tongue, and Plutarch says that "by 
giving it too free exercise he hurt the feelings of many and 
gained the reputation of being malicious." His great 
admirer Quintilian also thinks he jested too easily. The 
orator himself declares that "in our joking we should suffer 
only the light of an upright nature to shine forth"; but 
confesses that "for men who are witty and sharp of tongue 
it is extremely difficult to hold back the bright sayings that 
come into their minds." After his death a collection of his 
witticisms in three books was published. 

But Quintilian and Plutarch are thinking of the flashing 
rapier of Cicero's wit, of his piercing and stinging statements 
of unpleasant truth, and not of the genial drolleries which 
abound in his letters. He writes Marius, "So if you have 
made any appointment with Madame Gout, see that you 
put it off to another day." He rallies his young lawyer 
friend Trebatius, who is in the wilds of Gaul, where of course 
there are no lawyers worth mention : "I gather that our 
friend Caesar considers you a very fine lawyer. You ought 
to congratulate yourself on having reached a place where 
you pass for a man of some capacity. If you had gone 
to Britain too, there would surely have been in all that big 
island no one more expert than yourself." He has also his 
jesting messages for little Attica, his friend's daughter. 

To take another type, there is Vespasian, the bluff old 
soldier born in the Sabine mountains and become emperor. 

"Not only at dinner but on aJI other occasions he was most 
affable, and he turned off many matters with a jest. When an 
ex-consul called Floras called his attention to the fact that the 
proper pronunciation for 'wagons' was plaustra rather than 



plostra, he greeted him next day as 'Flaurus.' On the report of a 
deputation that a colossal statue of great cost had been voted him 
at public expense, he demanded to have it set up at once, and, 
holding out his open hand, said that the base was ready. He did 

net cease his jokes even when in 
apprehension of death and in ex- 
treme danger. And as death drew 
near, he said: 'Woe's me! 
Methinks I'm turning into a 

Still another t ype is to be seen 
in the Younger Pliny, whose 
humor is likely to be quite of 
the self-conscious and artificial 
type, but whose liking for the 
country and its solitudes we 

"You will laugh," he writes, 
after a hunting trip, "and laugh 
you may. I, really I myself, your 
friend, have taken three wild 
boars and mighty fine ones too. 
'Yourself? 7 you say. Myself; 
and yet without altogether giving up my inert and inactive ways. 
The way I did was to sit down near the nets, not with hunting 
spear or lance at my side, but with pencil and notebook; and 
to cogitate and write down my thoughts, so that I should bring 
back full tablets even if empty hands. Really, a manner of study 
not to be despised. It is wonderful how being bodily active and 
moving about arouses the mind. In addition, the wood on every 
side and the solitude and the very silence that must be observed 
when you engage in the hunt are great stimulations to thought. 
Hereafter, when you go out, you may use me as a precedent and 
take a notebook with you the same as knapsack and flask. You 
will find that Minerva roams the woods quite as much as 


The drapery is in colored marble, 
hardly in keeping -with the counte- 
nance, which is that of a shrewd and 
matter-of-fact person. 


But it is while with Horace that we feel most deeply con- 
vinced of the presence in ancient Rome of many a gentle 
spirit that found in itself and in the company of congenial 
friends abundant sources of entertainment. He loiters on 
the Sacred Way, musing on some trifle and all absorbed in it. 
He goes about among humble folk of the city, and asks them 
how their business is faring. He sits in the shade of the 
vines in his garden with his glass of wine. He stands in the 
door of the Sabine villa and gratefully thinks of his happiness. 
He mingles with the villagers in their holiday enjoyments. 
He sits in the shade behind a crumbling rustic sanctuary and 
writes to a friend that his happiness lacks nothing but the 
presence of that friend. He likes to look at the landscape, 
and he likes to look at life. He sees the absurdities and 
inconsistencies of the struggle for happiness. He sees men 
enter into real slaveries for the sake of imagined liberties. 
He enjoys the matchless humor of the simple little stories 
that have proved their worth and his taste by retaining their 
charm two thousand years the country mouse and the 
town mouse, the weasel and the greedy fox caught in the bin, 
the rustic sitting and waiting for the river to get by. He 
knows that worry and fear axe futile, and wastes no time in 
rebellion against the inevitable. He realizes that modest 
living and liberty are better than the lot of the wealthy who 
are never alone and never free. His prayer is not for more 
possessions, but for the sound body and sane mind that will 
insure the enjoyment of what he has : 

"Son of Latona, hear my vow ! 

Apollo, grant my prayer ! 
Health to enjoy the blessings sent 

From heaven ; * mind unclouded, strong ; 
A cheerful heart ; a wise content ; 
An honored age ; and song." 


There were others as well as Horace who looked on life in 
this way and found it good. They were a minority, but 
they not less than the rich who bought their pleasures and 
the poor in spirit who looked for theirs to noise aod excite- 
toent should be counted as a part of Laving Rome. 


The word satura, later written satira, is Roman, and satire 
itself, according to Quintilian, scholar, teacher, critic, and 
author, was "entirely our own." When it first comes into 
sight, from the pen of Ennius, "the father of Roman poetry," 
it was a pleasant medley or entertainment in varied meters, 
and perhaps not different enough from a similar product by 
the Greek Menippus to be called original. 

Satire at Rome soon began to undergo a development, how- 
ever. By the time of Lucilius, about 150 B.C., its pleasant 
medley had changed in tone, and included attack by name 
on the political enemies of his patrons, the Scipios, and on 
other persons, high and low, who represented the vices of the 
city in general ; so that Horace says that he 

"Assailed the lords and those of humbler birth, 
Kind to worth only and the friends of worth." 

Horace extended the range of satire to society in general, 
made it more unified and less rambling and crude in both 
substance and form, and established its character as a 
criticism of life, penetrating but genial and tolerant, 
Horace's imitator, Persius, A.D. 34-62, less gentle than his 
master, increased the sharpness of its tone, and Juvenal, 
A.D. 60-140, with his bitter and sweeping denunciation of the 
faults of his time, gave to it finally the character by which it 
has ever since been known. In its end, if not in its begin- 
ning, it was quite truly all Roman. 



The development of satire in this manner from mere enter- 
tainment and comment on life to scolding condemnation was 
at the same time the expression of the development of Roman 
society from the comparative simplicity and homogeneity of 
an Italian capital to the complexity and sophistication of a 
world capital. We have been engaged in describing and 
commenting on the main features of this living capital. It 
will help our appreciation of its life if we pause to hear what 
satire had to say in criticism of it, and thus learn what the 
ancient Romans thought of themselves. 

Of Ennius, living through the strenuous times of the 
Second Punic War and the conquest of the East, it may be 
said that he felt no call to satire in the usual sense. Even 
had the temper of the poet been of the caustic sort, the 
heroisms of Rome and the promise of the expanding State 
were too great to leave room for the discouragement and 
pessimism that form the basis for satire. With Lucilius, 
180-105 B.C., living to see new perils to the State in the rise 
of party enmities, it must be suspected that the satirical 
indignation was due less to moral concern thau to the per- 
sonal feeling of an old soldier loyal to the Scipios against 
a city growing radical and unappreciative of its men of worth. 

In Horace, we have the more universal though the gentler 
critic. Yet, even in Horace's time, men are living in the 
light of hope. Rome is now the Eternal, the City of Destiny, 
"The great round of the ages is beginning anew." The 
world has crashed into fragments, but the Augustans are 
gathering them up, and something greater than ever is to be. 
The poet, looking to the new r6gime and actively committed 
to it, has his moments of impatience and even of pessimism, 
when he feels that "the age of our sires, worse than our 
grandsires, has begotten us, who will soon bring forth a 
generation still more vicious" ; but on the whole his tone 



Is that of the man who knows the crimes of mankind but can 
hfford to be amused by its follies, and even to plead for 
lenient judgment on them. Horace is an essayist rathei 
than a satirist, and rightly calls his satires and epistles ser- 
manes, "talks," or causenes. The sins he "smilingly tells the 
truth 77 about are lack of charity, going to extremes, running 
f oo hard in the race for wealth, entertaining false ambitions, 




inconsistency, dining in bad taste, neglecting philosophy and 
misjudging values, sacrificing independence, being discon- 
tented. The only heinous immorality he attacks at length 
and by itself is legacy-hunting, and even here the indignation 
of the satirist is tempered for both writer and reader by the 
pleasure of skillful parody. 

By the time of Juvenal 7 s writing, however, in the reigns of 
tbp; Emperors Trajan, A.D. 98-117, and Hadrian, A.D. 117-138, 
though the eternity and the destiny of Rome were believed 
in still, belief in the "great round of the ages" and what it 
would do had suffered severe shocks. Sane Augustus had 
been succeeded by gloomy and suspicious Tiberius, mad 
Caligula and silly Claudius had followed, spoiled and willful 
Nero had terrorized, three emperors had come and gone by 


violent means in the single year of A.D. 68-69, and wholesome 
Vespasian and Titus had given place to tyrannical Domitian. 
The evils of personal rule and hereditary succession had been 
too clearly demonstrated for men longer to have perfect 
faith in autocratic government. The growth in popula- 
tion from foreign sources, the dying out of the old families 
that had built the State, and the filling of their places 
by the newly enriched, the newly free, and the newly 
Roman, had changed the blood and lessened the unity of the 
clden times. The increase of wealth and the multiplication 
of opportunity, together with loss of liberty and removal of 
civic obligation, had made easy the growth of selfishness and 
vice and slavishness. There were the enormously rich, re- 
strained by no ideal and fearful of only the arrogant above 
them. There were the hundreds of thousands of idle or 
semi-idle fed and amused by the rich and the court, a 
degraded yet arrogant mob whose loyalty waxed or waned 
with the coming and going of "bread and games." What 
wonder that in this weltering age the satirist was not a 
Horace looking on amused and unalarmed, but a Juvenal 
seeing red with wrath, and waiting only for the death of the 
tyrant to liberate his pen? 

But let us look at the targets at which Juvenal a,irns his 
shafts. There is the wealthy and vulgar upstart who was 
le^ently a barber or slave, and now wears Tyrian purple, 
* ' whilst on his sweating finger he airs a ring of gold in summer, 
unable to endure the weight of a heavier gem." Wealth is 
now a deity. And yet, when was avarice more greedy? 
Men gamble now, not from purses, but with whole treasure 
chests. They will prostitute themselves to the ugliest vices 
for money, sacrificing all self-respect. There are the immoral 
aad the criminal who owe immunity to the use of bribes. 
There are the effeminate and unnatural. There is the 


husband who will profit by his wife's disgrace. There are 
the gluttons eating and drinking to their ruin. There are the 
arrogant indulging in every luxury and every whim, and 
the obsequious who sell their liberty for the slightest favor. 
There are those who have not only thrown away their 
dignity and accept the dole, but will even crowd and cheat at 
its distribution. There are those accepting the dinners of 
insolent patrons who serve themselves with the best and their 
guests with the cheapest. There are the sons of the vener- 
able families of Rome degrading with every meanness the 
names they bear. There is the forger boldly trusting the 
fruits of his crime to give him respectability. There are the 
unterrified poisoners and other plotters against life ; in these 
days, if one is to be noticed, he must be a criminal in the 
grand style. There is the foreigner, above all the hungry 
Greek, with his cleverness and hypocritical servility, on 
every hand supplanting the natives of Rome. 

And there is woman the woman who spends her hus- 
band's money and lives with "him as if she were only his 
neighbor ; the adulterous woman, so bold and so numerous 
that there is no such thing as purity in the home; the 
woman heartlessly cruel to her slaves, who has them whipped 
if a curl of her hair is out of place, and during their bloody 
flogging sits and reads the day's news ; the woman intoler- 
ably wealthy, who never gives a thought to the cost of her 
perverted pleasures, as if money were forever welling up 
afresh from the exhausted strong-box ; the woman fanatical 
over Isis or the Great Mother and enriching their sly and 
calculating priests ; the woman gone crazy over the fortune- 
tellers, who will not go for a drive or salve a sore eye without 
first consulting the horoscope ; the woman who goes in for 
music and is forever fingering instruments; the mannish 
woman who visits the baths by night, uses the gymnasium, 



takes cocktails for her appetite, and eats and drinks herself 
sick ; the intellectual woman, who sits down to dinner and 
straight begins to discourse on Virgil and Dido, comparing 
Homer and the Aeneid, correcting her friends' grammar, and 
plying her tongue with such speed and loudness that no 




lawyer or auctioneer, or even another woman, can get in a 
word ; the new woman, who rushes about attending men's 
meetings and knows what is going on all over the world and 
fcells it to everyone she meets at the street corners; the 
jroman crazy over beautification, with high heels, bedaubed 
face, and tiers and stories piled one upon another on her head. 

"She ridiculously puffs out and disfigures her face with much 
dough ; she reeks of rich Poppaean cosmetics which stick to the 
lips of her unfortunate husband. It is for her lovers that she buys 
all the perfumes the slender Indians send to us. In good time she 


removes the first coatings, discloses her face, and begins to be 
recognizable. Then she bathes her skin in the famous milk from 
the she-asses which she would take with her if she were exiled and 
sent to the North Pole. But a face plastered over and treated with 
all these beauty preparations, shall we call it a face or a sore?" 

It is not only the ways of the Romans that irritate Juvenal, 
but the ways of the city itself. The famous Third Satire, 
whose imitation in his poem London brought Samuel Johnson 
into prominence at twenty-nine, is one of the most vivid 
bits of realism in literature. Let us look at parts of it in 
the attractive old-fashioned translation of William Gifford. 
The poet's disgusted friend is bidding farewell to him and to 

"Grieved though I am to see the man depart, 
Who long has shared, and still must share, my heart, 
Yet (when I call my better judgment home) 
I praise his purpose ; to retire from Rome, 
And give, on Cumae's solitary coast, 
The Sibyl one inhabitant to boast ! 

"Full on the road to Baiae, Cumae lies, 
And many a sweet retreat her shore supplies 
Though I prefer ev'n Prochyta's bare strand 
To the Subura : for, what desert land, 
What wild, uncultured spot, can more affright, 
Than fires, wide blazing through the gloom of night, 
Houses, with ceaseless ruin, thundering down, 
And all the horrors of this hateful town? 
Where poets, while the dog-star glows, rehearse, 
To gasping multitudes, their barbarous verse ! . . 

"Umbritius here his sullen silence broke, 
And turned on Rome, indignant, as he spoke. 
Since virtue droops, he cried, without regard, 
And honest toil scarce hopes a poor reward ; 
Since every morrow sees my means decay, 
And still makes less the little of t>day ; 


I go, where Daedalus, as poets sing, 

First checked his flight, and closed his weary wing. . . 

"But why, my friend, should I at Rome remain? 
I cannot teach my stubborn lips to feign ; 
Nor, when I hear a great man's verses, smile, 
And beg a copy, if I think them vile. . . - 

"The nation, by the great, admired, carest, 
And hated, shunned by me, above the rest, 
No longer, now, restrained by wounded pride, 
I haste to show, (nor thou my wa.nnth deride,) 
I cannot rule my spleen, and calmly see, 
A Grecian capital, in Italy ! 

Grecian? 0, no ! with this vast sewer compared, 
The dregs of Greece are scarcely worth regard : 
Long since, the stream that wanton Syria laves 
Has disembogued its filLh in Tiber's waves, 
Its language, arts ; overwhelmed us with the scum 
Of Antioch's streets, its minstrel, harp, and drum. . , 
A flattering, cringing, treacherous, artful race, 
Of torrent tongue, and never-blushing face ; 
A Protean tribe, one knows not what to call, 
Which shifts to every form, and shines in all : 
Grammarian, painter, augur, rhetorician, 
Rope-dancer, conjurer, fiddler, and physician, 
All trades his own, your hungry Greekling counts ; 
And bid him mount the sky, the sky he mounts ! . 
Greece is a theater, where all are players. 
For lo ! their patron smiles, they burst with mirth ; 
He weeps 7 they droop, the saddest souls on earth ; 
He calls for fire, they court the mantle's heat ; 
"Pis warm, he cries, and they dissolve in sweat. 
Hi-matched I secure of victory they start, 
Who, taught from youth to play a borrowed part, 
Can, with a glance, the rising passion trace, 
And mould their own, to suit their patron's face ; 
At deeds of shame their hands admiring raise, 
And mad debauchery's worst excesses praise. . . . 


"Who fears the crash of houses, in retreat? 
At simple Gabii, bleak Praeneste's seat, 
Vblsinium's craggy heights, embowered in wood, 
Or Tibur, beetling o'er prone Anio's flood? 



Part of this modern house suddenly fell away. 
which support the rest. 

The props may be seen 

While half the city here by shores is staid, 
And feeble cramps, that lend a treacherous aid : 
For thus the stewards patch the riven wall, 
Thus prop the mansion, tottering to its fall ; 
Then bid the tenant court secure repose, 
While the pile nods to every blast that blows. 

"O ! may I live where no such fears molest. 
No midnight fires burst on my hour of rest ! 


For here 'tis terror all ; midst the loud cry 
Of * Water ! water ! ' the scared neighbors fly, 
With all their haste can seize the flames aspire, 
And the third floor is wrapt in smoke and fire, 
While you, unconscious, doze : Up, ho ! and know, 
The impetuous blaze which spreads dismay below, 
By swift degrees will reach the aerial cell, 
Where, crouching, underneath the tiles you dwell, 
Where your tame doves their golden couplets rear, 
And you could no mischance, but drowning, fear ! . c * 

"Flushed with a mass of indigested food, 
Which clogs the stomach and inflames the blood, 
What crowds, with watching wearied and o'erprest. 
Curse the slow hours, and die for want of rest ! 
For who can hope his languid lids to close, 
Where brawling taverns banish all repose? 
Sleep, to the rich alone, his visits pays : 
And hence the seeds of many a dire disease. 
The carts loud rumbling through the narrow way, 
The drivers' clamors at each casual stay, 
From drowsy Dnisus would his slumber take. 
And keep the calves of Proteus broad awake ! 

"If business call, obsequious crowds divide, 
While o'er their heads the rich securely ride, 
By tall Illyrians borne, and read, or write, 
Or (should the early hour to rest invite), 
Close the soft litter, and enjoy the night. 
Yet reach they first the goal ; while, by the throng 
Elbowed and jostled, scarce we creep along ; 
Sharp strokes from poles, tubs, rafters doomed to fed. J 
And plastered o'er with mud, from head to heel : 
While the rude soldier gores us as he goes, 
Or marks, in blood, his progress on our toes. 

"See, from the Dole, a vast tumultuous throng, 
Each followed by his kitchen, pours along ! 


Huge pans, which Corbulo could scarce uprear- 
With steady neck a puny slave must bear, 
And, lest amid the way the flames expire, 
Glide nimbly on, and gliding, fan the fire. . . . 

"Pass we these fearful dangers, and survey 
What other evils threat our nightly way. 
And first, behold the mansion's towering size, 
Where floors on floors to the tenth story rise ; 
Whence heedless garreteers their potsherds throw, 
And crush the unwary wretch that walks below ! 
Clattering the storm descends from heights unknown,, 
Ploughs up the street, and wounds the flinty stone ! 
7 Tis madness, dire improvidence of ill, 
To sup abroad, before you sign your will ; 
Since fate in ambush lies, and marks his prey, 
From every wakeful window in the way : 
Pray, then, and count your humble prayer well sped; 
If pots be only emptied on your head. 

" The drunken bully, ere his man be slain, 
Frets through the night, and courts repose in vain; 
And while the thirst of blood his bosom burns, 
From side to side, in restless anguish, turns. . . - 
There are, who murder as an opiate take, 
And only when no brawls await them wake : 
Yet even these heroes, flushed with youth and wine. 
All contest with the purple robe decline ; 
Securely give the lengthened train to pass, 
The sun-bright flambeaux, and the lamps of brass. 
Me, whom the moon, or candle's paler gleam, 
Whose wick I husband to the last extreme, 
Guides through the gloom, he braves, devoid of fear. 
The prelude to our doughty quarrel hear, 
If that be deemed a quarrel, where, heaven knows, 
He only gives, and I receive, the blows ! 
Across my path he strides, and bids me stand i 
I bow, obseauious to the dread command ; 


What else remains, where madness, rage, combine 

With youth, and strength superior far to mine? 

4 Whence come you, rogue?' he cries; ' whose beans to-night 

Have stuffed you thus? what cobbler clubbed his mite, 

For leeks and sheep's-head porridge ? Dumb ! quite dumb ! 

Speak, or be kicked. Yet, once again ! Your home ? 

Where shall I find you? At what beggar's stand 

(Temple, or bridge) whimpering with outstretched hand? ' 

"Whether I strive some humble plea to frame, 
Or steal in silence by, 'tis just the same ; 
I'm beaten first, then dragged in rage away; 
Bound to the peace, or punished for the fray ! . . . 

"Nor this the worst ; for when deep midnight reigns, 
And bolts secure our doors, and massy chains, 
When noisy inns a transient silence keep, 
And harassed nature woos the balm of sleep, 
Then, thieves and murderers ply their dreadful trade ; 
With stealthy steps our secret couch invade : 
Roused from the treacherous calm, aghast we start, 
And the fleshed sword is buried in our heart ! 
Hither from bogs, from rocks, and caves pursued 
(The Pontine marsh, and Gallinarian wood,) 
The dark assassins flock, as to their home, 
And fill with dire alarm the streets of Rome. . . . 

"O ! happy were our sires, estranged from crimes ; 
And happy, happy, were the good old times ; 
Which saw, beneath their kings', their tribunes' reign, 
One cell the nation's criminals contain!" 

Such are the targets of Juvenal's satire. The attentive 
reader will see among the follies and vices and crimes which 
aroused his indignation many that are still familiar. Re- 
flecting on their presence among us, knowing how many of 
them on closer acquaintance in their setting are found to 
be less terrible than they seemed, he will wisely conclude 
that in ancient Roman society also the good and evil were 
mingled, and that, much of the evil was less evil than it looks. 


Juvenal angrily lays the lash on offenders of every kind, 
and never smiles. The author of the Satyricon } perhaps 
the Petronius whose suicide by order of Nero is described 
by Tacitus, is a laughing satirist. What remains of its 
sixteen books is largely composed of the story of an incred- 
ibly absurd dinner given at his home in Cumae by Trimal- 
chio, a newly rich and ignorant but self-satisfied freedman. 

The whole work was a picaresque novel, or romance of 
roguery, in which were related the variegated experiences 
of one Agamemnon, a teacher of rhetoric, Giton, a boy, 
and two freedmen called Ascyltus and Encolpius, as they 
went an adventurous way from Marseilles to Croton in 
southern Italy. The following abridgment contains about 
one fifth the story of the dinner. 


"The third day had come. A good dinner was promised. But 
we were bruised and sore. Escape was better even than rest. We 
were making some melancholy plans for avoiding the coming storm, 
when one of Agamemnon's servants came up as we stood hesitat- 
ing and said: 'Do you not know at whose house it is to-day? 
Trimalchio, a very rich man, who has a clock and a uniformed 
trumpeter in his dining room, to keep telling him how much of 
his life is lost and gone.' We forgot our troubles and hurried into 
our clothes, and told Giton, who till now had been waiting on us 
very willingly, to follow us to the baths. We began to take a sfcroD 




in evening dress to pass the time, or rather to joke and mix with the 
groups of players, when all at once we saw a bald old man in a 
reddish shirt playing at ball with some long-haired boys. It was 
not the boys that attracted our notice, though they deserved it, 
but the old gentleman, who was in his house shoes, busily en- 
gaged with a green ball. He never picked it up if it touched the 

ground. A slave 
stood by with a 
bagful and sup- 
plied them to the 
players. . . . 

"At last then 
we sat down, and 
boys from Alexan- 
dria poured water 
cooled with snow 
over our hands. 
Others followed 
and knelt down at 
MAKBLE POKTBAITS OP ROMANS our feet, and pro- 

ceeded with great 

skill to pare our hang nails. Even this unpleasant duty did not 
silence them, but they kept singing at their work. I wanted to 
find out whether the whole household could sing, so I asked for 
a drink. A ready slave repeated my order in a chant not less 
shrill. They all did the same if they were asked to hand anything. 
It was more like an actor's dance than a gentleman's dining room. 
But some rich and tasty whets for the appetite were brought on; 
for everyone had now sat down except Trimalchio, who had the 
first place kept for him in the new style. A donkey in Corin- 
thian bronze stood on the side-board, with panniers holding 
oEves, white in one side, black in the other. Two dishes hid the 
donkey; Trimalcbio's name and their weight in silver was en- 
graved on their edges. There were also dormice rolled in honey 
and poppy-seed, and supported on little bridges soldered to the 
plate. Then there were hot sausages laid on a silver grill, and 
under the grill damsons and seeds of pomegranate. 

"While we were engaged with these delicacies, Trimalchio was 
conducted in to the sound of music, propped on the tiniest of 


pillows. A laugh escaped the unwary. His head was shaven and 
peered out of- a scarlet cloak, and over the heavy clothes on his 
neck he had put on a napkin with a broad stripe and fringes hang- 
ing from it all round. On the little finger of his left hand he had 
an enormous gilt ring, and on the top joint of the next finger a 
smaller ring which appeared to me to be entirely gold, but was 
really set all round with iron cut out in little stars. Not content 
with this display of wealth, he bared his right arm, where a golden 
bracelet shone, and an ivory bangle clasped with a plate of bright 
metal. Then he said, as he picked his teeth with a silver quill : 
'It was not convenient for me to come to dinner yet, my friends, 
but I gave up all my own pleasure ; I did not like to stay away any 
longer and keep you waiting. But you will not mind if I finish 
my game? 7 A boy followed him, with a table of terebinth wood 
and crystal pieces, and I noticed the prettiest thing possible. 
Instead of black and white counters they used gold and silver coins. 
Trimalchio kept passing every kind of remark as he played, and 
we were still busy with the hors d'oeuvres, when a tray was brought 
in with a basket on it, in which there was a hen made of wood, 
spreading out her wings as they do when they are sitting. The 
music grew loud : two slaves at once came up and began to hunt 
in the straw. Peahen's eggs were pulled out and handed to the 
guests. Trimalchio turned his head to look, and said: 'I gave 
orders, my friends, that peahen's eggs should be put under a com- 
mon hen. And upon my oath I am afraid they are hard-set by 
now. But we will try whether they are still fresh enough to suck.' 
We took our spoons, half-a-pound in weight at least, and hammered 
at the eggs, which were balls of fine meal. I was on the point of 
throwing away my portion. I thought a peachick had already 
formed. But hearing a practised diner say, 'What treasure have 
we here? 7 I poked through the shell with my finger, and found a 
fat becafioo rolled up in spiced yolk of egg. . . . 

"As we drank and admired each luxury in detail, a slave brought 
in a silver skeleton, made so that its limbs and spine could be moved 
and bent in every direction. He put it down once or twice on the 
table so that the supple joints showed several attitudes, and 
Trimalchio said appropriately : 'Alas for us poor mortals, all that 
poor man is is nothing. So we shall all be, after the world below 
takes us away. Let us live then while it goes well with us.' 


"After we had praised this outburst a dish followed, not at all 
of the size we expected; but its novelty drew every eye to it. 
There was a round plate with the twelve signs of the Zodiac set 
in order, and on each one the artist had laid some food fit and 
proper to the symbol ; over the Ram rams'-head pease, a piece of 
beef on the Bull, kidneys over the Twins, over the Crab a crown, 
an African fig over the Lion, a barren sow's paunch over Virgo, 
over Libra a pair of scales with a muffin on one side and a cake on 
the other, over Scorpio a small sea-fish, over Sagittarius a bull's- 
eye, over Capricornus a lobster, over Aquarius a goose, over Pisces 
two mullets. In the middle lay a honeycomb on a sod of turf 
with the green grass on it. An Egyptian boy took bread round 
in a silver chafing-dish. . . . 

"Trimalchio himself too ground out a tune from the musical 
comedy Asafoetida in a most hideous voice. We came to such 
an evil entertainment rather depressed. 'Now,' said Trimalchio, 
'let us have dinner. This is sauce for the dinner,' As he spoke, 
four dancers ran up in time with the music and took off the top 
part of the dish. Then we saw in the well of it fat fowls and sow's 
bellies, and in the middle a hare got up with wings to look like 
Pegasus. Four figures of Marsyas at the corners of the dish also 
caught the eye ; they let a spiced sauce run from their wine-skins 
over the fishes, which swam about in a kind of tide-race. We all 
took up the clapping which the slaves started, and attacked these 
delicacies with hearty laughter. Trimalchio was delighted with 
the trick he had played us, and said, 'Now, Carver.' The man 
came up at once, and making flourishes in time with the music 
pulled the dish to pieces ; you would have said that a gladiator in 
a chariot was fighting to the accompaniment of a water-organ. 
Still Trimalchio kept on in a soft voice, 'Oh, Carver, Carver/ I 
thought this word over and over again must be part of a joke, and 
I made bold to ask the man who sat next me this very question. 
He had seen performances of this kind more often. 'You see the 
fellow who is carving his way through the meat? Well, his name 
is Carver. So whenever Trimalchio says the word, you have his 
name, and he has his orders. . . . ' 

"But a clerk quite interrupted his passion for the dance by read- 
ing as though from the gazette : ' July the 26th. Thirty boys and 
forty girls were horn on Trimalchio's estate at Cumae. Five 

From a painting by Bazzani. 



hundred thousand pecks of wheat were taken up from the thresh- 
ing-floor into the barn. Five hundred oxen weie broken in. On 
the same date : the slave Mithridates was led to crucifixion for 
having damned the soul of our lord Gaius. On the same date: 
ten million sesterces which could not be invested were returned to 
the reserve. On the same day : there was a fire in our gardens at 
Pompeii, which broke out in the house of Nasta, the bailiff/ 
'Stop/ said Trimalchio, 'when did I buy any gardens at Pompeii ? > 
: Last year,' said the clerk, 'so that thsy are not entered in your 
accounts yet.' Trimalchio glowed with passion, and said, 'I will 
not have any property which is bought in my name entered in my 
accounts unless I hear of it within six months/ We now had a 
further recitation of police notices, and some foresters' wills, in 
which Trimalchio was cut out in a codicil : then the names of bail- 
iffs, and of a freedwoman who had been caught with a bathman 
and divorced by her husband, a night watchman ; the name of a 
porter who had been banished to Baiae ; the name of a steward 
who was being prosecuted, and details of an action between some 

" But at last the acrobats came in. A very dull fool stood there 
with a ladder and made a boy dance from rung to rung and on the 
very top to the music of popular airs, and then made him hop 
through burning hoops, and pick up a wine jar with his teeth. No 
one was excited by this but Trimalchio, who kept saying that it was 
a thankless profession. There were only two things in the world 
that he could watch with real pleasure, acrobats and trumpeters; 
ail other shows were silly nonsense. . . . 

" Trimalchio cheered up at this dispute and said : ' Ah, my 
friends, a slave is a man and drank his mother's milk like ourselves, 
even if cruel fate has trodden him down. Yes, and if I live they 
shall soon taste the water of freedom. In fact I am setting them 
all free in my will. I am leaving a property and his good woman 
to Philargyms as well, and to Cario a block of buildings, and his 
manumission fees, and a bed and bedding. I a.m m airing Fortu- 
nata my heir, and I recommend her to all my friends. I am making 
all this known so that my slaves may love me now as if I were dead.' 
They all began to thank their master for his kindness, when he 
turned serious, and had a copy of the will brought in, which he read 
aloud from beginning to end, while the slaves moaned and groaned. 


Then he looked at Habinnas and said: 'Now tell me, my dear 
friend : you will erect a monument as I have directed ? I beg you 
earnestly to put up round the feet of my statue my little dog, and 
some wreaths, and bottles of perfume, and all the fights of Petrai- 
tes, so that your kindness may bring me a life after death ; and I 
want the monument to have a frontage of one hundred feet and to 
be two hundred feet in depth. For I should like to have all kinds of 
fruit growing round my ashes, and plenty of vines. It is quite 
wrong for a man to decorate his house while he is alive, and not 
to trouble about the house where he must make a longer stay. 
So above all things I want added to the inscription, 'This monu- 
ment is not to descend to my heir.' I shall certainly take care to 
provide in my will against any injury being done to me when I am 
dead. I am appointing one of the freedmen to be caretaker of 
the tomb and prevent the common people from running up and 
defiling it. I beg you to put ships in full sail on the monument, 
and me sitting in official robes on my official seat, wearing five gold 
rings and distributing coin publicly out of a bag ; you remember 
that I gave a free dinner worth two denarii a head. I should 
like a dining room table put in too, if you can arrange it. And let 
me have the whole people there enjoying themselves. On my 
right hand put a statue of dear Fortunata holding a dove, and let 
her be leading a little dog with a waistband on ; and my dear little 
boy, and big jars sealed with gypsum, so that the wine may not 
run out. And have a broken urn carved with a boy weeping over 
it. And a sundial in the middle, so that anyone who looks at the 
time will read my name whether he likes it or not. And again, 
please think carefully whether this inscription seems to you quite 
appropriate: 'Here lieth Caius Pompeius Trimalchio, freedman 
of Maecenas. The degree of Priest of Augustus was conferred 
upon him in his absence. He might have been attendant on any 
magistrate in Rome, but refused it. God-fearing, gallant, con- 
stant, he started with very little and left thirty millions. He never 
listened to a philosopher. Fare thee well, Trimalchio : and thou 
too, passer-by.' 

"After saying this, Trimalchio began to weep floods of tears. 
Fortunata wept, Habinnas wept, and then all the slaves began as 
if they had been invited to his funeral, and filled the dining room 
with lamentation. . . . 


"'Well, as I was just saying, self-denial has brought me into 
this fortune- When I came from Asia I was about as tall as this 
candle-stick. In fact I used to measure myself by it every day, 
and grease my lips from the lamp to grow a moustache the quicker. 
Still, I was my master's favorite for fourteen years. No disgrace 
in obeying your master's orders. Well, I used to amuse my mis- 
tress too. You know what I mean ; I say no more, I am not a 
conceited man. Then, as the Gods willed, I became the real 
master of the house, and simply had his brains in my pocket. I 
need only add that I was joint residuary legatee with Caesar, and 
came into an estate fit for a senator. But no one is satisfied with 
nothing. I conceived a passion for business. I will not keep you 
a moment I built five ships, got a cargo of wine which was 
worth its weight in gold at the time and sent them to Rome. 
You may think it was a put-up job ; every one was wrecked, truth 
and no fairy-tales. Neptune gulped down thirty million in one 
day. Do you think I lost heart ? Lord ! no, I no more tasted my 
loss than if nothing had happened. I built some more, bigger, 
better and more expensive, so that no one could say I was not a 
brave man. You know, a huge ship has a certain security about 
her. I got another cargo of wine, bacon, beans, perfumes, and 
slaves. Fortunata did a noble thing at that time; she sold all 
her jewelry and all her clothes, and put a hundred gold pieces into 
my hand. They were the leaven of my fortune. What God 
wishes soon happens. I made a clear ten million on one voyage. 
I at once bought up all the estates which had belonged to my 
patron. I built a house, and bought slaves and cattle ; whatever 
I touched grew like a honey-comb. When I came to have more 
than the whole revenues of my own country, I threw up the game : 
I retired from active work and began to finance freedmen. I was 
quite unwilling to go on with my work when I was encouraged by 
an astrologer who happened to come to our town, a little Greek 
called Serapa, who knew the secrets of the Gods. He told me 
things that I had forgotten myself; explained everything from 
needle and thread upwards ; knew my own inside, and only fell 
short of telling me what I had had for dinner the day before. You 
we uld have thought he had always lived with ma You remember, 
Habinnas? I believe you were there? ' You fetched your wife 
from you know where. You are not lucky in your friends. No 


one is ever as grateful to you as you deserve. You are a man of 
property. You are nourishing a viper in your bosom/ and, though 
I must not tell you this, that even now I had thirty years, four 
months, and two days left to live. Moreover I shall soon come into 
an estate. My oracle tells me so. If I could only extend my 
boundaries to Apulia I should have gone far enough for my life- 
time. Meanwhile I built this house while Mercury watched over 
me. As you know, it was a tiny place ; now it is a palace. It has 
four dining rooms, twenty bedrooms, two marble colonnades, an 
upstairs dining room, a bedroom where I sleep myself, this viper's 
boudoir, an excellent room for the porter ; there is plenty of spare 
room for guests. In fact when Scaurus came he preferred staying 
here to anywhere else, and he has a family place by the sea. There 
are plenty of other things which I will show you in a minute. Take 
my word for it ; if you have a penny, that is what you are worth ; 
by what a man hath shall he be reckoned. So your friend who 
was once a worm is now a king. Meanwhile, Stichus, bring me 
the grave-clothes in which I mean to be carried out. And some 
ointment, and a mouthful out of that jar which has to be poured 
over my bones. 7 

"In a moment Stichus had fetched a white winding-sheet and 
dress into the dining room and . - . [Trimalchio] asked us to feel 
whether they were made of good wool. Then he gave a little 
laugh and said: 'Mind neither mouse nor moth corrupts them, 
Stichus ; otherwise I will burn you alive. I want to be carried 
out in splendor, so that the whole crowd calls down blessings on 
me/ He immediately opened a flask and anointed us all and said, 
'I hope I shall like this as well in the grave as I dD on earth.' 
Besides this he ordered wine to be poured into a bowl, and said, 
'Now you must imagine you have been asked to my funeral.' 

"The thing was becoming perfectly sickening, when Trimalchio, 
now deep in the most vile drunkenness, had a new set of perform- 
ers, some trumpeters, brought into the dining room, propped him- 
self on a heap of cushions, and stretched himself on his death-bed, 
saying: 'Imagine that I am dead. Play something pretty.* 
The trumpeters broke into a loud funeral march. One man espe- 
cially, a slave of the undertaker, who was the most decent man 
in the party, blew such a blast that the whole neighborhood was 
loused. The watch, who were patrolling the struts dose bv, 


thought Trimalchio's house was alight, and suddenly burst in the 
door and began with water and axes to do their duty in creating a 
disturbance. My friends and I seized this most welcome oppor- 
tunity, outwitted Agamemnon, and took to our heels as quickly 
as if there were a real fire. 

" There was no guiding torch to show us the way as we wandered ; 
it was now midnight, and the silence gave us no prospect of meet- 
ing anyone with a light. Moreover, we were drunk, and our 
ignorance of the quarter would have puzzled us even in the day- 
time. So after dragging our bleeding feet nearly a whole hour 
over the flints and broken pots which lay out in the road, we were 
at last put straight by Giton's cleverness. The careful child had 
been afraid of losing his way even in broad daylight, and had 
marked all the posts and columns with chalk ; these lines shone 
through the blackest night, and their brilliant whiteness directed 
our lost footsteps. But even when we reached our lodgings our 
agitation was not relieved. For our friend, the old woman, had 
had a long night swilling with her lodgers, and would not have 
noticed if you had set a light to her. We might have had to sleep 
on the doorstep if TrimaJchio's courier had not come up in state 
with ten carts. After making a noise for a little while he broke 
down the house door and let us in by it." 


Juvenal's sweeping denunciations of the degenerate pa* 
trician, the wasteful rich man, the insolent parvenu, the 
servile and unprincipled common crowd, the greedy, lying 
foreigner, the unabashed new woman, the groveling court- 
ier, the arrogant and irresponsible ruler, the dangerous 
characters of the street and the night, are suggestive rather 
than descriptive of crime. They are the expression of one 
thoroughly disgusted by the behavior of men not so much 
because of its violation of law as because of the degradation 
and indecency it represents. The forger, the poisoner, 
and the adulterer are the chief and almost only offenders 
he mentions against the law of the land, and in them he is 
attacking the arrogant, the covetous, and the impure rather 
than the offender against the State. In Martial, who saw 
the same things that Juvenal saw, but as a spectator with- 
out indignation and only in search of matter for the epigram, 
and in the Satyricon ascribed to Petronius, there is even less 
pointing out of actual crime. 

If we wish to know what constituted crime in ancient 
Rome, the degree of disapproval its various forms aroused, 
and what it meant in the character of the Roman people, 
we must not depend on the satirists and other literary ob- 
servers, but upon the laws that have been preserved, espe- 
cially that part of them providing for the compensation and 
the punishment of crime. This chapter will be devoted, 



first, to an enumeration of criminal offenses; second, to 
an enumeration of the penalties attaching to them; and 
third, to the courts which had jurisdiction over them. 

In the first place, offenses were capital or noncapital 
as they affected or did not affect the caput, the status of 
citizen. Capital crimes were not only those for which 
life was forfeited, but all offenses involving punishment 
by loss of the freeman's status, of the rights of citizenship, 
or of family rights. The degrees of capital punishment 
are thus: (1) death; (2) loss of the freeman's status and 
consequently citizenship and family rights; (3) loss of 
citizenship with loss of family rights but not of liberty; 
(4) loss of family rights only. 

In the second place, criminal offenses were either viola- 
tions of absolute duties, or violations of relative duties; 
that is, crimes in which the State or society and not the indi- 
vidual was the injured party, or crimes in which the State 
and also the individual were injured. Some of these were 
capital, some noncapital. 

We may now specify the crimes in which the State alone 
was the injured party. 

There were naturally those offenses which affected the 
safety of the State : bearing arms against it, deserting to its 
enemy, causing the ambush or surrender of its army, pre- 
venting the success of its arms, inciting a friendly state 
to make war on it, abetting its enemy by any material means 
or by communication and advice. This whole group of 
acts, which were against the State's external safety, con- 
stituted treason. It was known to imperial times under the 
name crimen laesae maiestatis, and earlier as perdu&llio. 

A second group consisting in acts of subversion or usur- 
pation was directed against the State from within, and 
included plotting against or attacking the emperor or ques- 



tioning Ms choice of a successor, attempting the life of any 
member of the concilium or consistorium, his intimate ad- 
visory body, causing any person to take oath for subver- 
sion, raising an army or levying war without the emperor's 
authority, and conspiring to kill hostages without his au- 
thority. This group, like the first, was treason. 

Thirdly, there were offenses against the State's tran- 
quillity : any seditious gathering or conspiracy, or an armed 


Frm" Sjmrtaciu" 

assembly seizing any public place. Fourthly, there were 
offenses against the public force : desertion from the army, 
and the instigation to riot or sedition. These two groups 
were also treason. 

A fifth group consisted in offenses against the adminis- 
tration of justice: to conspire for the death of a magis- 
trate, to set free one that had pleaded guilty to a criminal 
charge, to use force in the prevention of a trial or the influ- 
encing of a magistrate, to accept a bribe for accusing or 


not accusing a person of a criminal act, to use false testi- 
mony in convicting a person of a crime punishable with 
death, wrongfully to give or withhold testimony, to cor- 
rupt a judge or cause him to be corrupted, maliciously to 
accuse of crime, to conceal crime or by collusion to secure 
acquittal of a defendant, to abandon prosecution without 
sufficient cause. The first and second of these were treason. 

Sixthly, there were the offenses against the public funds : 
exacting taxes without authority, counterfeiting or falsify- 
ing in any way the coinage of the State, or refusing to accept 
it if pure and properly stamped, converting to personal 
use the State's money or money held in trust. 

A seventh group consisted in offenses by servants of the 
State : to refuse to yield authority to a successor, to use 
authority in causing the death or scourging or torture of a 
Roman citizen pending an appeal, to accept money as a 
magistrate for causing a charge of capital crime, to accept 
money or other value in violation of public duty, willfully 
as juror to judge contrary to an enactment, to betray a 

Eighthly, there were offenses in the matter of weights, 
measures, and markets. Among these were the selling of 
bread by false weights, the attempt at artificial raising of 
the prices of provisions, the withholding of goods from the 
market to increase their prices. 

Ninthly, there were the offenses against decency or morals. 
These included adultery and incest. 

Finally, there were such offenses in respect of religion 
and witchcraft as to play the prophet, to consult with ref- 
erence to the emperor's life, to offer sacrifice in the hope of 
injury to neighbors, to participate in magic or to possess 
books on the subject of magic, to introduce strange worships 
likely to cause disturbance. 


So much for the crimes in which the State only was the 
Injured party; that is, the violation of absolute duties. 
Let us now consider those in which the State and also a 
specified individual were injured ; that is, those which were 
violations of relative duties. 

First among these were crimes against the person : parri- 
cide, meaning the willful causing of death to ascendant, 
brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, husband or wife or other 
relation by affinity, or patron ; murder, to kill any person, 
even a slave, to prepare, sell, or to give poison for the kill- 
ing of any person, to go armed with weapons for murder 
and theft, or to conspire for murder ; wounds and assaults, 
alone or in company; restraint of the person by willful 
imprisonment or shutting up, willful concealment, impris- 
onment, or purchase of any freeman or freedman against 
his consent; libel, its origination or dissemination; at- 
tempts on the chastity of women, girls, and boys. 

Second among the violations of relative duties were crimes 
against rigjits involving things. Here are to be classed the 
theft of animals, housebreaking and stealing by night, sneak 
thievery, stealing from a burning house or a wrecked vessel ; 
robbery, on the highway, with others in the assault of a 
house, or by blackmail ; forcible ejectment with arms ; ap- 
proval of armed slaves acquiring possession; arson; the 
theft or conversion to personal use of sacred or public mov- 
ables; the violation of sepulture by removal or spoliation 
of the dead or of the tomb in any part. 

A third class of offense against relative duties consisted 
in the making of fraudulent contracts, compelling by force 
the entrance into contract, forging or altering accounts. 

Fourthly, there were the crimes involving status : for a 
freedman to represent himself as f reeborn ; to falsify in the 
matter of a child ; for a wife to be unfaithful to the marriage 


relation ; to tempt a married woman to be unfaithful or to 
divorce her husband. 

Fifthly, there were the offenses in relation to inheritance ; 
to take from an inheritance before the heir's title was con- 
firmed ; to forge or tamper with a will, or to open it during 
the maker's life. 

We are ready now to enumerate the punishments. They 
will of course be capital and noncapital. 

Capital punishment has already been described as not 
confined to death, but as including the loss of freedom, 
the forfeiture of citizenship, and the forfeiture of family 

Death, the summum supplicium or extreme penalty, was 
by A.D. 222 the punishment for all but the mildest forms of 
treason ; under Julius Caesar, framer of the law on treason, 
the penalty had been the famous Interdiction from Water 
and Fire, a chic excommunication amounting to exile. 
Death was the penalty also for the exercise of the magic 
arts, for parricide, for murder by persons not of rank, for 
the worst offenses against chastity, for repeated robbery, 
for serious cases of arson, for violation of the tomb by force 
and for removing bodies, for bribery, for causing a citizen 
to be killed, beaten, or tortured pending appeal, if done by 
persons not of rank, and for cases of forgery by slaves. This 
discrimination in favor of rank occurs in many cases. 

The manner of the death penalty varied. There was 
burying alive for the unchaste Vestal, throwing from the 
Tarpeian Rock in early times for false witness, crucifixion, 
for slaves only, burning, beheading, facing the wild beasts 
in the arena, entering the gladiatorial lists with a chance 
of life. Crucifixion and condemnations to the arena were 
abolished by Constantine, who encouraged sanctity in the 
marriage relation by making death the punishment fo r 


adultery. He also made burning the punishment of counter- 
feiters not of rank. 

The second capital punishment, deprivation of the free- 
man's status, was the consequence of sentence for life to the 
mines. The third, forfeiture of citizenship, was the con- 
sequence of the water-and-fire interdiction, or outlawry 
and banishment, under the Republic, and, under the Em- 
pire, of deportation for life to an island or condemnation to 
labor for life on the public works. Forfeiture of property 
naturally went with both. In the case of the common 
people, sentence to the mines was the penalty also for em- 
bezzlement, for using potions, for fraudulent contract, for 
sacrilege, for highway robbery, and for ordinary violation 
of tomb. Sentence for life to the public works might be 
pronounced against thievery by night or in the baths, house- 
breakers by day, sneak thieves ; deportation to an island, 
invented by Augustus to prevent banished men in num- 
bers from meeting together, was the sentence for the mildest 
forms of treason, for false witness and withholding testi- 
mony, for armed violence, for extreme cases of libel and 
extreme crimes against chastity, for cases of forgery by 
free men, for extreme cases of accepting bribes by public 
servants, for prophets returning after a first penalty, and 
for persons of rank convicted of the offenses bringing the 
death sentence to the common man for example, false 
witness resulting in the conviction of a person charged with 
a crime punishable by death, counterfeiting, introduction 
of strange and disturbing religion, and conspiring to murder. 

The noncapital punishments were: (1) relegation for 
a time or for life, meaning banishment to or from a definite 
area, or exile without loss of property or citizenship; 
(2) corporal punishment, by flogging or beating; (3) im- 
prisonment ; (4) fines ; (5) loss of rank, as expulsion from 


the Senate and the senatorial rank in Rome, or from thr 
curia, or local senate, of another city ; (6) suspension from 
the exercise of a calling, as the disbarment of an advocate. 

Banishment for life or various periods, relegatio, was the 
sentence for treason before the Empire made it death. It 
was the sentence also for some cases of accepting bribes, 
for selling bread with false weights, for artificial raising of 
prices, for killing by negligence, for willful imprisonment or 
detention, for sneak thievery, for receiving stolen animals, 
for stealing from a burning house, for milder cases of rob- 
bery on the highway, for armed expulsion of a man from 
his land, for alteration of accounts and forging signatures. 
For persons of rank, banishment was the sentence for crimes 
punishable in the common man by deportation, the mines, 
public works, or death. These crimes included alloying 
the State's metals, adultery, using potions, theft of live- 
stock, appropriation of sacred, public, or devoted property, 
fraudulent contract. 

Corporal punishment, in the form of beating with rods, 
was inflicted for swearing falsely by the emperor's Genius, 
for adultery at least in Justinian's time, and for sneak 
thievery. Malicious accusation of crime might be punished 
with branding of the letter K, until Constantine replaced it 
with banishment or degradation from rank. 

Imprisonment in the usual sense seems to have had lit- 
tle to do with criminal law. "Punishments of this sort," 
writes "Ulpian, a chief contributor to legal science who died 
A.D. 228, "are forbidden ; for the prison must be regarded as 
a place for the detention of men and not for punishment." 
If the prison had the effect of punishment, it was by reason 
of the detention in it, as a result of the law's delays and 
abuses, of men accused or condemned of crimes and waiting 
for trial or execution of sentence. Imprisonment for debt, 


which early took the place of enslavement for debt, and was 
in its turn abolished by Constantine, was not an act of the 
State, but an act of the creditor sanctioned by the State, 
and has nothing to do with criminal law. 

Fines could be levied on persons of rank who gave potions, 
for taking part in ejectment by means not forcible, for caus- 
ing the torture of another man's slave, and in earlier times 
for kidnaping. In earlier times also the appropriation 
of sacred or public property was punished with fourfold 
restitution. Cato speaks of thieves being penalized two- 
fold and usurers fourfold. 

Degradation from rank might follow malicious accusa- 
tion of crime or fraudulent contract, and was incidental to 
the major crimes. Suspension from professional practice 
was of about the same severity as temporary exile. 

Before going on to general conclusions regarding the 
criminal law, a word should be said about places of deten- 
tion in Rome. The visitor to the Tullianum at the head 
of the Roman Forum to-day who is familiar with classical 
letters also can hardly fail to reflect on the smallness of 
this prison of two chambers and the silence of Roman liters 
ture as to any other prison in the city. Rome had a million 
or more inhabitants, and many criminal offenders. We 
recall, for example, Juvenal's reference to the robbers who, 
"every time the Pomptine Marshes are made safe by armed 
guards, come running into the city for refuge as if to a pre- 
serve. At what forge and on what anvil are not heavy 
chains being made? So great is the amount of iron con- 
sumed for shackles that you are afraid the plowshare will 
fail us and the mattock and hoe give out. Happy the gen- 
erations of our forefathers, ah, happy the times of old which 
under the kings and tribunes saw Rome content with a single 
prison I" 



What has been said of imprisonment explains in part. 
With the prison used only as a place of detention until the 
next step in law was taken until a trial was called, or 
until execution took place, for example ; and with deporta- 
tion, banishment, and hard labor in the mines or public 


Calbd also the Mamertine Prison, this was the dungeon into which the con- 
spirators were thrown by order of Cicero, in which Jugurtha and Vercingetorix 
were confined, and which tradition says received Saints Peter and Paul. The 
column at which it is said that the Apostles were bound is inclosed in an iron frame, 
the spring from which they baptized their jailors and fellow prisoners is below it, 
and a commemorative inscription above. 

works taking the place of the modern penalty of imprison- 
ment, there could have been no great, long-period, resi- 
dential prisons like those of to-day. The Tullianum served 
for the convicted awaiting execution a Jugurtha, the con- 
spirators of Catiline, a Vercingetorix ; and the neighboring 
prison chambers not viable to-day, with the seven stations 


and fourteen substations of the seven thousand men of the 
city watch, for those awaiting less tragic fates, and for the 
disturbers usual in the streets of a large city. 

Such were crime and punishment as reduced to final sys- 
tem under the Empire. No thoughtful person needs to be 
told that the system was the result of long development. 
The simple laws of the first kings, when the monarch in 
person or by delegation heard and decided every case whether 
civil or criminal, were multiplied and specialized as the State 
grew and its life became complex, until their written state- 
ment in the Twelve Tables was necessary. The long at- 
tempt of the Republic to accomplish justice by popular 
ineans was full of trouble. The trial of the accused before 
the assembled people, presided over by the praetor or other 
magistrate, was inexpert and cumbersome, and its outcome 
likely to depend on feeling rather than fact. The Special 
Commissions for criminal cases, sitting in small numbers, 
knowing more of law, and less the prey of prejudice, were a 
partial remedy, and soon led to the Standing Commissions, 
each a court for a special crime and having its own consti- 
tution and procedure. 

But the defects of democratic justice went deep. Even 
with these courts, there was much inexpertness, and much 
opportunity for prejudice. The praetor and the president, 
who was his substitute on occasion, were not necessarily 
learned in the law, and the praetor was a politician owing 
office to the people. The jurors were at first from the sena- 
torial class, then from the equestrian, then from both, then 
from the senators again under Sulla's domination. Their 
office throughout the Republic was never free from politics. 
Trials were at first held in the open air, and then in the 
basilica, with the public crowding about and likely to let 
its preferences be known. Worst of all was the right of 


the people's tribunes to interfere in cases of the death pen- 
alty. By the time of Polybius, 150 B.C., the tribune's aid 
to the capital offender had been exercised so often that exile 
instead of death was possible for at least all criminals of 
rank or prominence. This was due to the thoroughly in- 
grained feeling of the tribune that it was his duty to inter- 
cede for the individual against the magistrate. 

With the coming of the Caesars, a great change took place. 
The control of the courts, like every other activity, was cen- 
tralized in the emperor. Like the king in the beginning, he 
was in person or by delegation the supreme judge as well 
as the supreme lawmaker. 

To aid the emperor in this function, Augustas in 25 B.C. 
created the prefect of the city of Rome, with the cohorts 
as instruments of law and order. In time the prefect's 
civil jurisdiction extended a hundred miles beyond the city 
limits, his criminal jurisdiction, of course with the aid of 
delegates, through all Italy. He had the power to banish, 
deport, and send to the mines, and heard appeals from all 
parts of the Empire, his sentences admitting of no appeal 
except to the emperor. The praetorian prefect, in com- 
mand of the emperor's life guards, was also important in 
criminal matters. 

Outside Italy, criminal as well as civil jurisdiction was 
given by Augustus to the twelve legates or presidents in 
charge of the twelve provinces under Augustus' personal 
control, and to the twelve proconsuls in charge of the senar 
torial provinces. Both classes of governors were intrusted 
with universal and absolute powers, but were responsible 
to Rome for their proper exercise. 

The enumeration of crimes and punishments contained 
in this chapter depends mostly upon the statements of the 
in the legal treatises and compilations of the Empire. 


It need not be thought, however, that the laws themselves 
were greatly different from the laws of the last century of 
>he Republic. The law no doubt kept on with its natural 
change and natural growth, but laws are conservative. It 
was in the administration of the laws that the great change 
took place in its removal from the sphere of politics, in 
its concentration in responsible hands, in the expedition of 
its processes by personal authority, in the freedom of gov- 
ernor and prefect from too strict regard for precedent. The 
matter of the law remained much the same. The principal 
laws of the Empire touching crime had been formulated 
long before they appeared in the Code of Justinian or in the 
famous legal writers three hundred years before him. The 
Julian Law on Treason, for example, was passed under 
Julius Caesar; the Julian Law on Adultery, under Augus- 
tus; the Julian Law on Violence either Public or Private, 
and the Julian Law on Embezzlement, it is uncertain whether 
under Caesar or Augustus ; the Cornelian Law on Assassins, 
and the Cornelian Law on Forgery, under Sulla ; the Pom- 
peian Law on the Murder of Blood Relations, under Pom- 
pey the Great. The Fabian Law on Kidnaping was known 
to Cicero; and there were other Julian laws, on Corrupt 
Practices in Election, on Extortion by Provincial Gov- 
ernors, on Food Prices, on Incomplete Accounts. 

The criminal laws of the Empire were therefore substan- 
xially those existing under Augustus at the end of the last 
century before Christ. Many were the work of Sulla's 
reforms before that, and many had been in operation in 
their essentials since the Roman State began. 


At a death rate of fifteen in a thousand per year, a moder- 
ate average in capital cities to-day, in the Rome of one mil- 
lion inhabitants there would have been fifteen thousand 
Romans carried to their last resting places in the year, and 
about forty every day. The fact of death was important in 
Living Rome. 

The fifteen thousand who died each year included the high 
and the low, the slave and the free, the native and the alien, 
the old and the young, the woman and the man, the variously 
employed, the variously worshiping ; and the evidence oi> 
death and the disposal of the dead in literature, inscriptions, 
sculpture, tombs, sarcophagi, and bones and ashes embraces 
many centuries. Care must be taken not to confuse ore 
period with another, or the particular with the general. 

Let us begin with the Roman of noble and wealthy family 
of Augustan times. The members of the family are about his 
bed as he sinks into the dark unknown and leaves to them 
only the inert clay so different from his former self. When 
the first shock is over, one or all bend over hum and several 
times cry out his name. This is the conclamatio, the " crying 
out together." It is at the same time an expression of grief 
and a formality, and may have begun in primitive times with 
the attempt to wake the dead back to life. The nearest of 
kin perhaps also kisses him as if to receive into the family 
line the last breath, and makes the formal announcement, 
" Condamatum e&t the cry has been raised." 



The women of the house, or perhaps the professional from 
outside with his assistants, now take charge. The eyes that 
see no more are closed, the body is bathed, perhaps em- 
balmed, then dressed in the toga, the full dress of Roman 


The sloping roof shows that the scene is the atrium. TaH funeral torches bum 
at the four corners of the bier, and there is a lamp on a candelabrum at either end. 
Mourners and attendants surround the dead person; one plays the pipes, and 
others beat their breasts and fling the dirge. 

times, decorated with all the insignia won in a long and dis- 
tinguished career, and placed on the stately funeral couch 
in the darkened atrium, feet toward the vestibule and street, 
to await the day of carrying forth. Possibly an old custom is 
observed, and a coin placed in the mouth as passage money 


across the St yx. Tall candelabra supporting burning censers 
are placed at the corners of the couch. The rising and falling 
light plays on the rich, deep-hued draperies of the couch, and 
on the round wreaths of palm and flowers and ribbons that lie 
on the dead and about him. Attendants are by, with watch- 
ers, and perhaps even the paid funeral mourners. 

At some time before the lying in state, a wax impression 
of the face has been taken, the imago. This will occupy its 
niche in the family room, one of the two aloe off the rear 
corners of the atrium, with all the similar masks of the ances- 
tral line, and will be accompanied by its inscription, or titulus, 
placing on record the name, parentage, years, offices, and 
deeds of the dead. The right of thus displaying imagines 
belongs only to those of curule rank. Cicero acquired it on 
the day he was elected curule aedile. 

Outside, the fact of death is made known by the display 
of a branch of cypress or pine at the street door, like the 
flowers and ribbons or sprinkled sulphur of to-day. This is 
also a safeguard for neighbors and strangers against religious 
or social impropriety. 

Three to seven days elapse before the funeral. In excep- 
tional cases it is conducted by and paid for by the State or 
city. Its coming occurrence is cried through the streets in 
an ancient formula. When the hour arrives, the dissignator,, 
or master of ceremonies, is at hand with his lictors and has 
given his instructions. The funeral train begins to move. 

The musicians with the solemn notes of their brasses are 
first, and perhaps the professional chanters of the dirge. 
Dancers and pantomimists follow, impersonating the de- 
ceased, sometimes even with jests. Then come the chariots, 
scores of them, if not the six hundred at the funeral of 
Marcellus, in which are men in the official costumes of the 
dead man's long line of ancestors, wearing their death masks. 


iiow taken from the niches in the afo. The long train of 
Consuls, praetors, and generals thus recalled to life, each 
preceded by his lictors, is conducting the most recent of the 
family line to his place with them in the shadowy nether 

Then come the dead man's memorials, after the manner of 
a triumph his horses, his insignia, his trophies, and paint- 
ings or tableaux portraying his exploits; and then more 
lictors, these with down-pointed fasces, and men with torches, 
a remnant of one-time burial by night ; and then, high on 
the jolting and rumbling funeral car, or on the shoulders of 
the men of his house, the dead himself, uncovered to the sky, 
or inclosed but represented by a statue clad in his robes and 
mask. About him are the favored slaves, now freedmen, 
emancipated in his will, and, following him, the mourning 
family, clothed in black, the sons with veiled heads, the 
daughters with heads uncovered and hair flowing, the women 
without ornament and the men without insignia showing 
office or rank, and such of the friends and the public as were 
prompted to follow. 

The funeral is a great spectacle. On both sides, as the 
solemn parade passes, the Roman populace presses to the 
line, throngs the steps of the public buildings, and fills every 
WBJclsrc and balcony. 

The procession slowly threads the long street between the 
lines of the tall houses, and emerges into the Forum. The 
chariots with their ghostly occupants deploy on its pavement, 
and the dead is carried through their midst to the Rostra. 
As he lies on its broad platform in the presence of ancient 
memorials of the city's greatness, with massive arcaded 
facades ajid the tall colonnades of temples looking down 
from every side and the Capitol rising far above, his 
nearest survivor's voice is raised in the funeral oration, the 



laudatio, a glorification of the dead and his forefathers which 
will be preserved in the family archives. 

The funeral train forms again, passes through the Arch of 
Augustus, winds up the Sacred Way between temples and 


The Appia was excavated and cleared by order of Pius IX in 1853. Ruins oi 
tombs and monuments are plentiful. Two carabinieri, or country police, are 
seen with their mounts. 

porticoes, and descends to the street that leads through the 
city gate to the Appian Way. In one of the long lines of lotc 
that border the Queen of Roads there stands a newly erectec 
funeral pyre, perhaps in the form of an altar. Here the pro 
cession halts. The dead is placed upon the pyre, with orna 


ment, arms, or other possessions cherished in life, and tokens 
brought by friends and relatives. 

When all is ready, the nearest of kin, a beloved friend, or 
some civic dignitary, with averted face applies the torch. 
The pyre and its burden are speedily enveloped in crackling 
flames, are consumed, and sink in a glowing mass. The 
embers are quenched with water or wine, a final farewell is 
uttered, like another conclamatio, and all return to the city 
but the immediate relatives. These remain behind to col- 
lect the remnants of the cremated body, to bury formally a 
fragment of the body in order to preserve the form of inhu- 
mation, to perform ceremonies in consecration of the ground 
and in purification of themselves from contact with the dead, 
and to partake of a funeral communion in the family tomb- 

Nine days of mourning follow, on one of which the now 
dry ashes are inclosed in an urn of metal or marble and car- 
ried by a member of the family, barefooted and ungirdledj 
to their final place of rest in the tomb chamber. At the end 
of the nine days, a feast to the dead, called sacrum novendiale, 
is celebrated at the tomb and a funeral banquet held at the 
home. Mourning continues ten months for husbands, wives, 
parents, and adult sons and daughters, eight months for other 
adult relatives, and in the case of children for as many 
months as their years. Memorial festivals of the nature of a 
communion are celebrated on February 13-21, the Parentalia 
or pagan All-Souls', on the birth or burial anniversary, and 
at the ends of March and May, the Violaria and Rosaria, 
when violets and roses are profusely distributed, lamps 
lighted in the tomb, funeral banquets held, and offerings 
made to the Manes, the spirits of the dead. 

The funeral of the grandee thus described was not un- 
familiar to the Roman people, but it was the exception and 


not the rule. The splendor of its appointments, the dignity 
of its participants, the stately progress of the procession, the 
magnificent setting of the Forum, the Sacred Way, and the 
Appian Way, made it one of the most imposing spectacles 
of all time. It is best compared with the funerals of the 
princely families of modern Rome, or of Italian royalty, 
though its display was probably far greater. Still more im- 
posing were the great imperial funerals, whose trains pro- 
ceeded from the Forum through the magnificent distances of 
the Campus Martius to the Mausoleum of Augustus at its 
northern end. 

"He was twice eulogized," Suetonius says of Augustus, "in 
front of the Temple of Divine Julius by Tiberius and in front 
of the Rostra Vetera by Drusus, the son of Tiberius, and was car- 
ried on the shoulders of senators to the Campus and there cre- 
mated. And a man of praetorian rank came forward to swear 
that he had seen the effigy of the cremated rising to the sky. The 
remains were gathered up by the ranking men of the equestrian 
order, in tunic, ungirdled, and barefoot, and laid away in the 
Mausoleum. This building, between the Via Flaminia and the 
Tiber bank, he had built in his sixth consulship and at that time 
too had opened for the use of the public the groves and walks 
lying about it." 

Polybius, a century and a half before Augustus' funeral,, 
writes vividly of the great Roman funerals as an institution 
contributing to Roman character: 

"Now not only do Italians in general naturally excel Phoeni- 
cians and Africans in bodily strength and personal courage, but 
by their institutions also they do much to foster a spirit of braverj* 
in the young men. A single instance will suffice to indicate the 
pains taken by the State to turn out men who will be ready to en- 
dure everything in order to gain a reputation in their country for 

"Whenever any illustrious man dies, he is carried at his funeral 
into the Forum to the so-called Rostra, sometimes conspicuous iu 


grounds, apart and silent, but took the form of a very long 
and narrow series of private lots along the highways leading 
from the city gates. The lots began at the lines of the road, 
and their imposing monuments were almost at its edge. 
There was probably no road without tombs near the city, and 
frequently they stood also along the country roads or on 
estates. The highways most used for cemeteries at Rome 
were the Via Flaminia and the Via Salaria on the north, the 
Tiburtina and Praenestina on the east, the Latina and Appia 
on the south, and the Aurelia and Cornelia on the west. The 
most famous of all was the much-traveled Appian Way, which 
is still bordered for many miles with almost continuous 
fcomb ruins. 

The two hundred or more larger tomb remains on the 
Appian Way include most of the types of the Roman sepul- 
cher. There was the mausoleum, round and probably with 
conical summit, whose name and shape were due to the tomb 
of Mausolus, the king of Caria, who died about 351 B.a 
The tumulus, a conical mound of varying size heaped over 
the body or ashes, also a reminder of Asia, was another form: 
There was the tomb built above ground, the tomb excavated 
in the tufa bed of the Campagna, and the combination 
of tomb below and family chamber or chapel above. There 
was the columbarium, for ashes of the burial associations 
or brotherhoods so frequent in Rome ; and there were the 
underground chambers and corridors now called catacombs. 

The burial lots of the Appian Way were marked by stones 
inscribed with dimensions : e.g. in Jronte p. XVI, in agro 
p. XXII, " frontage 16 feet, depth 22 feet." On some 
stones and tombs there were added threats, curses, or legal 
formulae, to safeguard the area and monuments against 
violation. A frequent abbreviation, H M H N S, meant, 
ywnumerdum heredem non sequelur " this monument 



shall not follow the heir," and was due to the fear that the 
survivors might appropriate the monument for other pur- 

The more pretentious areas were great family lots, for all 
the members of a gens, or of the branch of a gens, including 

its freedmen and slaves, and 
sometimes other clients, and 
friends. Such a burial place 
might include a large plot of 
ground, with an area for the 
tomb, a garden behind it, a 
crematory, ustrinum, shrines 
with statues of the dead, 
aediculae, a room for anni- 
versary communions, pa- 
vilion, well, and custodian's 

The Roman tomb inscrip- 
tions, cut on slabs let into 
the front of the monument, 
or on stones at the graves of 
individuals, or near the re- 
mains inside the vault, are 
varied in content and ex- 
pression. Most of them 
contain the name, parent- 
age, public offices, and an 
accurate statement of the 
length of life, without dates of death and birth. An example 
is afforded by the epitaph of Minicia, daughter of Fundanus, 
whose death is the subject of a letter by Pliny, who says she 
was scarce thirteen, and already had all the wisdom of years 
and the sedateness of a matron, but joined with youthful 



"To the departed spirit of Minicia Mar- 
cella, daughter of Fundanus. She lived 12 
years, 11 months, 7 days." 

The eagle between the rosettes may sym- 
bolize the flight of the souL 


sweetness. Her tombstone is in the National Museum in 
Rome : " To the Departed Spirit of Minicia Marcella, Daugh- 
ter of Fundanus. She lived 12 years, 11 months, and 7 days." 
A portrait bust sometimes accompanied the epitaph, still a 
frequent practice in the cemetery at Rome, where photos or 
paintings of the dead are also seen on tombstones. Some- 
times the inscription was an address to the passer-by from 
the departed, as that of one Marcus Caecilius lying by the 
Appian Way : 

"This monument is erected to Marcus Caecilius. 
Stranger, I am pleased that you stop at my resting place. 
Good fortune to you, and fare you well ; may you sleep 
without care." 

Such appeals as this, with the use of portrait sculpture 
and the practice of roadside burial, show how keen was the 
Roman reluctance to be cut off entirely from the affairs of 
the living 

"For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey, 

This pleasing anxious being e'er resigned, 
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day, 
Nor cast one longing lingering look behind?" 

Possibly they show also the instinctive belief in a future 

A frequent form of tomb among the humbler classes, espe- 
cially freedmen and the working part of the population, was 
the columbarium, so named because its walls inside resembled 
a dove-cote. Long, narrow vaults or chambers were either 
built above ground or excavated in the tufa, and their walls 
made into compact rows of niches a foot or so high and 
wide, large enough to receive an urn holding the ashes of one 
person, whose name was on the urn or on a little slab below it, 
sometimes with his bust placed near. One of these colum- 


baria on the Via Appia was for the freedmen of Augustus 
and Livia, and in it were found three hundred tituli, epitaphs. 
Such tombs were sometimes the gift of some benevolent 
person, and sometimes represented a business man's invest- 
ment, but it was more usual for them to be built, or at least 
managed, by cooperative funeral guilds, which sold stock, 
assessed regular dues, and paid benefits, thus insuring their 
members proper entombment. Their administrators divided 
and assigned the space by lot, and the holders might in turn 
sell their shares. It is interesting to see the Italian word 
colombario in use to-day, in the cemetery at Rome, applied 
to the rows of coffin cells built for economy of space. 

The lot of the ordinary slave and the poorest class of 
citizens was less fortunate. Outside the Servian Wall where 
it crossed the broad and level area of the Esquiline, there 
existed up to Horace's time an old burial ground which might 
be called the potter's field of Rome. The poet's patron, 
Maecenas, transformed it into gardens. Excavations begun 
in 1872 showed that there was an irregular area of a mile or 
more, between the present railway terminus and the Lateran 
Church, which had served from earliest times as a burial 
ground. One of the poems of Horace quite clearly refers to it. 

"Hither, of yore, their fellow slave contracted to carry in their 
cheap coffins the dead sent forth from their narrow dwellings; 
here lay the common sepulcher of the wretched plebs. A thousand 
feet frontage, three hundred feet depth, were the limits the stone 
gave the monument not to follow the heirs. To-day you may 
dwell on a healthful Esquiline, and take walks on the sunny em- 
bankment, where but now your sad gaze rested upon a field ugly 
with whitening bones." 

The poet's mention of the cheap coffins and the slave hire- 
ling, the contrast between the gloomy Esquiline of former 
days and the gardens now in its place, and the satiric allusion 


to the marker as the one monument of a whole city of 
wretched poor, " not to follow the heirs/' speak plainly of the 
lot of the lowest classes after death. The excavations 
brought to light pit graves, thirteen to sixteen feet square 
and of great depth, into which we must suppose the bodies 
of the criminal and otherwise unfortunate were thrown one 
above the other, unburned, and with little ceremony. 

Throughout the pagan period, cremation and inhumation 
existed side by side, with cremation increasing until it came 
to be all but universal. The earliest burial places of Rome 
the lowest stratum on the Esquiline, and the prehistoric 
cemetery discovered on the Sacred Way near the Forum 
in 1902 contain both cinerary urns of terra cotta and 
coffins made of hollowed logs. The later strata in the Es- 
quiline cemetery also contain both. The burial chambers of 
the Scipios, who were a branch of the Cornelian gens, on the 
Appian Way outside the walls of their time, but within the 
later wall of Aurelian, were filled with sarcophagi of stone 
containing unburned dead. In many large tombs the heads 
of families were laid away in sarcophagi, with the cremated 
freedmen and humbler members of the household deposited 
about them in the same chamber. Burial without burning, 
because the natural and originally cheaper way, was the basic 
and popular custom in the early stages of the Roman com- 
munity. Even in Augustan times, when cremation had 
almost entirely displaced inhumation, it was customary, as a 
symbol of earth burial, to inter a small part of the body, the 
os resectum, usually a joint of the little finger. 

We have reviewed the variations in burial practice due to 
differences in class, wealth, belief, taste, and tradition prin- 
cipally in the first century of the Empire and in the city of 
Rome. There were naturally also variations according to 
period. For example, burial by night was a practice of 



earlier times, and was prescribed again by Julian, A.D. 361, 
on the ground of inconvenience to the city's traffic caused by 
daylight funerals. Again, the burials of the earliest times 

were less distant, by 
reason of the lesser 
circumference of the 
city walls ; each suc- 
cessive line of de- 
fense carrying the 
line of tombs far- 
ther out because of 
the law forbidding 
burial within the 
city limit. There 
was less of both dis- 
play and poverty 
before the rise of 
the Empire, though 
laws forbidding ex- 
travagance in fu- 
nerals were known 
from the first cen- 
turies of the city. 
The use of chambers 
and galleries exca- 
vatedin the soft tuf & 
bed of the Cam- 
pagna, long known 
on a small scale in the pagan era, grew much more general 
after the rise of Christian Rome, developing the great com- 
munal burying places of the catacombs. Cremation died 
out because of belief in the resurrection, and perhaps also 
because it was more expensive. 



From the pyre the soul of the Empress is borne aloft 
by the winged Spirit of the After-life. The grieving 
Emperor Hadrian looks on, with finger pointed to the 
sky. At the foot of the pyre is a figure symbolizing 
the Campus Martius, where the cremation took place. 
Behind Hadrian is Antoninus, who will succeed him. 


In other cities of the Empire, especially in the West, burial 
practices, like most other customs, were essentially the same 
as at Rome. In small towns and villages, no doubt there was 
much conservatism, and some customs were retained long 
after they had gone out in the capital. All periods in the 
history of Roman burial, however, are unified by the belief 
of all but the few in the continued existence of the dead and 
in his shadowy presence in the life of the family and com- 
munity, and by the consequent scrupulous care in proper 
burial and in the maintenance of right relations with the 
spirits of dead ancestors. The communion of the living 
with the dead is by no means unknown to the belief and 
feeling of to -day, but to the ancient Roman it was much more 



Thus far we have been concerned in the main with a Rome 
on the Seven Hills. We have seen the physical setting of 
Rome in the Italy of to-day and its capital, modern Rome, 
and its cultural setting in the language and letters, law and 
religion, arts and ideals, inherited by modern times from 
ancient Rome. We have seen the Roman as he looked and 
moved at home and on the streets in the round of personal 
affairs. We have seen him as he moved in the larger environ- 
ment of the varied life of his million neighbors, a part of 
Living Rome. 

This has been to make acquaintance with Rome the City, 
compact and clearly outlined, warm with the energy of 
growth and action, distinct in character. 

But the Rome we have been describing was not the only 
Rome ; or, rather, it was not the whole of Rome. There was 
not only Rome the City, Urbs, covering the hills and crossing 
the stream and having its bounds ; there was also Rome the 
Empire, Orbis, the vast organism of land and sea reaching out 
to the oceans and rivers and deserts and barbarian wilderness 
which nature seemed to have intended as its limits. This 
Rome is not the City, but a civilization thinking the thoughts 
and living the life of the City. It may be called Greater 


The rise of the Roman State has already been described : 
the annexation of the neighboring hills and tribes, the leader- 
ship in Latium, the conquest of the Volscian, the Etruscan, 
the Latin, the Samnite, and the Greek of South Italy, the 
crossing into Sicily, the Carthaginian wars and the winning 
of Sardinia and Corsica, Spain, and northern Africa, the 
Macedonian wars and the expansion to the east, the absorp- 
tion of Greece and Asia Minor and Egypt, the push into 
Gaul and Britain, the invasion of Dacia, the advance to the 
Tigris and Euphrates. The world conquered by the citizen- 
soldier of the Republic, shaped and set in order by Augustus, 
maintained by Tiberius, extended by Claudius and the 
Flavians, completed by Trajan, and stabilized by Hadrian, 
was bounded on the north by the Black Sea, the Danube and 
the German wall and the Rhine, and the British wall from 
the Tyne to the Solway, except where it went beyond these 
lines to include Dacia and the German provinces ; on the 
west it was bounded by the Atlantic ; on the south, from 
Tangiers to the Red Sea, by the line of the Atlas Mountains 
and the desert ; on the east, by the Arabian Desert and the 

At its longest and widest, the Empire thus bounded was 
3,000 miles from west to east, and 2,000 miles from north to 
south. It contained 2,500,000 square miles, and a popula- 
tion estimated at 100,000,000. The modern population is 
about twice that. To reach from Rome the last fort on the 



Nile in Nubia meant a journey of forty days. There was no 
steam to increase the speed of ships, there were no express 
trains, and no electricity and radio to annihilate distance 
and time. The population was composed of many races 
and colors, spoke many different languages, worshiped 
many different gods, and was at many different levels 
of culture. Yet the peace and unity of this vast territo- 
rial miscellany to-day, compared with the Pax Romana in 
the best centuries of the Empire, is as turbulence and dis- 

Let us look, first, into the causes that underlay this bring- 
ing together into one household of the peoples of three conti- 
nents and the countless islands of the Mediterranean. We 
shall then be prepared to appreciate their effects. 

To say that the extension of Roman sway was due to mere 
lust of conquest and the satisfaction of greed, is the easy 
explanation of shallow minds. These are the motives of 
deliberate aggression on the part of ambitious military and 
political geniuses or on the part of calculating oligarchies. 
No Cyrus the Great or Napoleon inflamed the Roman people 
with the enthusiasm that sweeps all before it in the world 
campaign, and the Roman Senate, always harried by the 
opposition, was never an irresponsible coterie of plotters for 
its own enrichment. By the time dictator and emperor be- 
came the State, the area of the Roman world was practically 

The Empire set in order by Augustus and confirmed by his 
successors was already conquered when Augustus came to 
the task. It was the work of a people, not of an individual. 
The motives of a conquering people, as opposed to a person 
or a group, are not single and simple, but multiplex. The 
policies of a conquering people are not the conscious and cal- 
culating plans of the farsighted genius who overruns and 



unites a world in one lifetime, but the sum of the uncertain- 
ties and inconsistencies of the slow-moving centuries. 

The Roman people's advance to the domination of the 
world was not always the precise and steady march of aa 
army well commanded. The needs of the moment, and even* 
accident, as well as foresight and design, determined its- 

The idealized retinue of the Emperor imitate his manner of wearing the nair. 

policies. Rome's first growths in territory were due to alli- 
ances for safety's sake which soon resulted in union and 
amalgamation in the common interest. The advance of its. 
borders, due to this natural cause, created the usual frietiom 
and the usual problems of security. The student of national, 
expansion to-day does not need to be told that beyond the- 
border there is always a zone whose menaces to* safety neces- 
sitate its conquest, and whose occupation brings another 
border and another zone, until the limit of territory or of " 
strength establishes a final boundary. The Roman Republic 
was not secure in Italy until by alliance, pea^eluLannexation, 


conquest provoked by the enemy's threats, and conquest 
compelled by actual aggression, its borders had reached the 
sea on three sides and the Alps on the fourth. It was not 
secure on the sea until it had made the Mediterranean a 
Roman lake. It was not secure for great distances beyond 
this until it had reached the Atlantic, the Rhine and the 
Danube, the Pontus, the Euphrates, the Red Sea, and the 
Sahara, and had supplemented the work of nature by erect- 
ing the English and Scottish walls and the three hundred and 
forty-five miles of palisade across the gap from Rhine to 

The growth of the Roman power was the growth of a living 
organism. It was as inevitable as the expansion of a healthy 
plant or animal. When men of Virgil's time began to talk of 
Eternal Rome and the Destiny of Rome, they were only 
expressing in artificial fashion the feeling that Rome had 
conquered the world and was ruling it, not because of the lust 
for power or the greed for gain, but because she was the 
instrument of a power beyond human control and beyond the 
realm of human comprehension. The reverent poet thought 
of that power as divine and of another world. Plain-thinking 
men, without resort to the other world, thought of it as 

To say that Roman expansion was the work of nature, 
however, and that the Roman people was its instrument, is 
not to declare that the lust of conquest and the appetite 
for worldly gain did not exist. The Roman was human and 
knew temptation, and Nature herself is not kindly toward 
those who interfere with the growth of her creatures. 

From the first, the Roman possessed the vigorous physique, 
the healthy courage, the ready intelligence, and the feeling 
for discipline that make the soldier. As he left behind him 
the ever lengthening line of successes against his enemies in 


arms, the mastery of the science of war and the consciousness 
of power developed his courage into the disciplined confidence 
that shrinks at no personal danger and faces odds as a 
matter of course. It must not be supposed that this con- 
fidence was unaccompanied by pride and that it did not 
sometimes impel its possessor to the arrogant and arbitrary 
use of arms. 

From the beginning, too, the Roman was of a thrifty 
nature. The little wars he won in Latium, whether forced 
upon him or of his own provoking, brought hi his little gains 
in land or animals. The wars which made him master of the 
Etruscan, Samnite, and Italian Greek opened up to him 
the riches of Italy's fields and forests and quarries. With 
the control of rich provinces across the mountains and the 
sea that soon followed, Roman commerce and Roman invest- 
ment, already active before the lands were Roman, assumed 
much larger proportions. It must not be supposed that the 
gains which were at first the accident of war did not at times 
become a contributing cause of war. The opportunities 
promised by the annexation of a new province or the acquisi- 
tion of a further sphere of influence were a temptation too 
great to be always resisted. 

Let us think of interests involved. There was the State 
and its need for greater revenues. There was the crowded 
capital, welcoming the opportunity to send out colonies and 
thus to relieve itself of pressure and reduce the list of parasites 
receiving the dole. There was the dictator or military hero 
in need of lands with which to reward his veterans. There 
were the politician and the demagogue wanting material for 
promises. There were the contractors and men of capital 
looking for new fields for earning and investment. There was 
the party or person in power looking for an issue with which 
to win favor or divert disaffection. There was the army man 



ambitious for a career or eager for opportunity to test the 
latest military engine or idea. There were the general and 
his staff and the rank and file, ready for adventure and not 
without thought of the spoils of war. Our surprise should 

be, not that Roman 
character for a time 
weakened under the 
strain of almost un- 
paralleled tempta- 
tion that came with 
the avalanche of 
territory after the 
Carthaginian and 
Macedonian wars, 
but that the Roman 
State did not make 
conquest a business 
for its own sake. 

As it was, the 
case of aggression 
pure and simple and 
without excuse was 
rare. If we had 
the views of Car- 
thaginian and 
Greek and Gaul and 
German and Briton 
at the moment of 

defeat, no doubt we should be told such cases; but the 
Roman would be ready to advance his justification. Roman 
citizens and property at the border, he would have said, had 
been molested and made to feel unsafe ; trader and traveler 
on Roman ships had been taken by pirates in waters not 



patrolled by the claimants of jurisdiction over them; the 
rights of Roman citizens in the offending territory had not 
been respected ; a treaty had been violated ; an ally had been 
aggrieved or attacked and must be quieted; a petty and 
backward or decadent state was hindering the march of 
civilization, and Rome was after all performing a service to 
the world and the conquered state itself. In short, the 
Roman apologist would have demonstrated that what seemed 
an arbitrary act of aggression was provoked and inevitable. 

The charge of hypocrisy is easily made. When motives 
are mixed, as we have seen was the case in Roman conquest, 
it is necessary only to emphasize the unworthy motive to the 
exclusion of the rest. It is in some respects to the interest 
of the United States, for example, to hold the Philippine 
Islands ; therefore, it might be argued, the United States is 
holding them for selfish reasons, and is the enemy of freedom 
and the friend of tyranny. 

Without attempting to justify the abuses of Rome's 
darlier rule in the provinces, or denying the use at times of 
arbitrary measures in both administration and conquest, 
let us make a few observations bearing on Roman expansion 
in its entirety. 

In the first place, the Roman conscience was shocked and 
aroused by the fact of abuse in provincial government. The 
earliest special standing court established by the Govern- 
ment at home, in 149 B.C., was the court on extortions. As 
early as 171 B.C., complaints of insolence and avarice on the 
part of Roman magistrates in the two Spains were promptly 
followed by legal action at Rome, and the measures taken 
were collaborative, not autocratic. If there were scandalous 
abuses in the provinces, the fact that we know it because of 
the prosecutions at home in the earnest attempt to correct 
them is not without significance as to the Roman intent. 


In the second place, one of the earliest and one of the most 
effective of Augustan reforms was in provincial administra- 
tion. The readiness with which it was accomplished must 
mean that the previous regime was not so hopelessly corrupt 
as is sometimes represented. It must be remembered, too, 
that the witness in the case against Rome for maladministra- 
tion is Rome itself, and that self-condemnation is not to be 
taken at face value. 

In the third place, as the decades passed after the enor- 
mous conquests following the Second Punic War, and the 
conquerors realized the immensity of their task of governing 
a world, the feeling of responsibility deepened in them. The 
governed must be protected against the governor ; the weak 
must be protected against the strong ; the barbarian must 
be taught ; the decadent must be recalled to pride ; the law 
must equalize rights and duties; life must be made safe, 
prosperity increased. No one can read Livy's glowing ac- 
counts of Flamininus at the Isthmian Games proclaiming 
the freedom of the Greeks, and of Aemilius Paullus visiting 
the cities of Greece after the final defeat of their Macedonian 
oppressor, and of the Carthaginian envoys declaring that the 
Romans had increased their sway almost more by sparing the 
vanquished than by conquering them, or Cicero's orations in 
behalf of the Sicilians against Verres, the influential politician 
exploiting a province, or the letters written by Cicero while 
governor of Cilicia, or the odes of Horace reminding the 
Roman that he rules the world only because he walks humbly 
before the gods, or Virgil's noble lines on the mission of Rome, 
without feeling that through all the incapacities and abuses 
of the Republic in the provinces there was a conscience at 
work in the State and an ideal present and growing. 

In the fourth place, the Roman gave as well as took. In 
return for total surrender to authority, the conquered nation 



received the civilization of the conqueror. Let us pause at 
this point to ask what Romanization meant. 

It meant, first, regularization and protection under Roman 
authority. The Roman law and Roman system followed 
Roman conquest. The lands taken over became the prop- 

This fine construction is a few miles from Tarragona, ancient Tarraco. 

erty of the Roman State, and were redistributed to colonists 
and former tenants, subject to the land tax which formed the 
government's principal source of revenue. The humbler 
members of many a community experienced for the first time 
the certainties and the justice of enlightened government. 
It meant, second, the benefits of an expert language. The 
language of the law and the ruling class in all their commu- 
nications, oral and written, was Latin. The schools that f ol- 


lowed the Roman standards into the backward lands were 
Latin schools. In many communities they were the first 
and the only schools, and Latin the first written language in 
the community's experience. 

Again, Romanization meant the arts. The most distant 
outposts of the Empire had an architecture like that of the 
capital. The local market place became a little Roman 
Forum. The sculpture of provincial towns differed only in 
excellence from that of the centers of art. Mosaics and 
paintings, wherever found, reflect the art of the capital and 

Still further, it meant the amusements of the capital. The 
ruins of circus, theater, amphitheater, and baths, now indicat- 
ing in deserted spots the former presence of a city, are the 
signs of luxuries in entertainment reaching, for better and 
worse, the one-time abodes of barbarism. 

It meant, fifth, connection with the world of enterprise. 
The Roman road traversed the provinces, touching the prin- 
cipal centers of prosperity. The Roman ship made calls. 
The produce of other lands and the news of the world en- 
riched and enlivened existence where hitherto monotony 
and stagnation had prevailed. The advent of the Roman 
military road was like the coming of the railroad and its 
creativeness into the life of the American West or the heart 
of Africa. 

It meant, again, the stimulation from new religious con- 
tacts. As Roman altars and temples rose and the Roman im- 
mortal gods in their majestic humanity appeared, comparison 
with the old went far with many a barbarous tribe to make it 
a convert to the other features of Romanization as well. 

Seventh, and greatest of all, the coming of Rome meant 
sooner or later the rights of the Roman citizen. The rise of 
the noncitizen to citizenship, whether from captivity in war, 


or from slavery by purchase, or other alien condition, was a 
distinctive feature of Roman society. Beginning in early 
times, it increased in ease and frequency until in A.IX 212 all 
free men in the Empire were citizens. Roman born or alien, 
Italian or non-Italian, they were on equal footing. Rome 
and Italy identified themselves with the world they had con- 
quered. Unlike most imperial powers of modern times, 
Rome was not democratic at home and despotic abroad. The 
provincials were gradually Romanized and the Roman and 
Italian gradually universalized, until the distinction between 
Italian and provincial disappeared. All called themselves 
Roman. Virgil could thus become the poet of all who dwelt 
within the line that separated culture from barbarism, and 
Cicero the model for the written and spoken tongue. What 
before was Urbs, was now Orbis. 

Finally, with citizenship, if not before, came the Roman 
ways of thinking and feeling. Enjoying local and individual 
freedom under central authority, and recognizing in Rome 
the source and guarantee of his freedom, the Roman, wher- 
ever he was and of whatever blood, looked to the city by the 
Tiber with loyalty and affection. Reflecting on the vast- 
ness, the unity, and the solidarity of the Empire of Rome, 
he felt the pride of participation in world rule. Remember- 
ing the centuries of Rome's existence, he called her the 
Eternal City without question of her continued sway. If an 
emperor misruled, or a series of them, it was for the Roman 
but an episode. The emperors were for an age, but Rome 
for all time Rome, " Mother of Anns and Justice," 
" Rome, destined to live as long as men shall be," " the city 
as everlasting as the Pole," " to whose reign there never shall 
be an end." 

Such were the changes which constituted Romanization, 
They were more thorough or less according to the status of 



the subject people, who varied from the free-spirited and 
cultivated Hellene to the ignorant and despot-ridden Egyp- 
tian, from the sophisticated, commercial Carthaginian to the 
barbarian of the German forests, from the rude Spaniard to 
the luxurious Greeks of Asia. There were some who profited 


Parts of the bridge, which is half a mile long, are of later periods. The ancient 

name of Merida was Emerita Augusta. 

more than others, but there were none who did not benefit 
by the Roman feeling for organization and unity and by 
the Roman law. They were more thorough or less in th^ 
same province or city, according to the status of the indi- 
vidual. The official and commercial circles, whether Italian 
or native born, represented Rome completely in language, 
religion, manner of diversion, and mental habit. 


Persons of the lower classes, who had less incentive to imita- 
tion, kept on with their own language, dress, and customs, 
and were welcome to do it if they chose. Roman rule in 
nonessential matters was wisely elastic. The Roman did 
not feel impelled, like many conquerors, to impose a uni- 
formity in everything. On obedience, loyalty, and good 
behavior he did insist, but imposed no galling conformities 
in language, interfered with religion only in case of actual 
conflict with the State, and allowed the subject people, 
whenever possible, the laws and usages to which they were 

In conclusion, if the Roman treatment of the conquered 
still is in need of vindication, its result may be indicated in 
evidence. The tongue of the conquerors became the tongue 
of all the conquered except the Greeks, who had long pos- 
sessed superior culture, and the Teutons, far away on the 
border. Even Dacia spoke Latin, and the Roumanian 
tongue to-day, surrounded by Hungarian, German, Slavic, 
and Greek, is a romance tongue, the sister of the French, 
Italian, and Spanish that cover so much of the New World 
and the Old. The religion of Rome was accepted by them 
all, and humanized them into the ready recipients of the 
Christian faith in later years. The Roman Peace enveloped 
them. There were five hundred towns in Asia without a 
garrison. In all Gaul, Lyons was the only military post, with 
twelve hundred men to serve for all the regions that for ten 
years had resisted the arms of Caesar. The standing army 
for the Empire's one hundred millions of population was 
about three hundred thousand, in city-camps along the cir- 
cumference, and these mostly on the Rhine and Danube, with 
but infrequent calls to service as some barbarian foray dis- 
turbed the peace. The Roman law had won its way among 
them. It made life safer and relations more just. So 


thorough an instrument was it that after its service to the 
ancient world it descended to the medieval and the modern 
world, and is now the law of Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, 
Portugal, and all the Latin-speaking countries elsewhere, 
Greece and southeastern Europe, Switzerland, Holland, 
Germany, and the Church ; and is rivaled as a world force 
only by the English law. 

The political, visible empire of Rome in the West passed 
out of existence in the fifth century at the coming of the 
Northerner. In the East it survived longer in the mingling 
of Greece and the Orient as the Byzantine Empire. From 
the first consuls of the Republic to the Code of Justinian 
more than a thousand years elapsed. The civilization thus 
enduring and leaving after it. an inheritance that is living 
still was not a civilization based on force and greed alone. 
Whatever its faults in detail, as a whole it owed its initial 
success and its permanence to character. The Roman people 
were not only physically strong and temperamentally reso- 
lute, but endowed with the sense of justice and responsibility. 

" Empire is retained," according to a maxim quoted by 
James Bryce, " by the same arts whereby it was won." The 
Empire of Rome from Augustus on, until causes deep-seated 
and beyond control had sapped its powers, retained its sub- 
jects by the arts of peace. It may not have won its subjects 
by the arts of peace alone, but it could not have won them 
permanently, as it did, without the arts of peace. 


The Roman State was founded upon force, though not 
upon force alone, and the great instrument that made possible 
the advance and the permanence of its borders was the army. 
The Roman army, however, must not be thought of merely 
as a weapon. Taken throughout the history of Rome, it is 
seen to have been the means not only of conquest but of 
civilization. This will be made plainer as its uses and char- 
acter are described. 

First, let us consider the army in its purely military aspect, 
and at a time when its organization is fully developed and 
practically fixed ; tor, like everything else Roman, the army 
also was a product of evolution. The period of the first 
emperors will be convenient. 

The largest unit of the army was the legion, or division, 
consisting at full strength of 6,000 men. The legion was 
divided into 10 cohorts of 600 men each, and the cohort into 
6 centuries of 100 men each. All were heavy-armed infantry, 
except 120 cavalry. After long service in the field, or in 
times when recruits were scarce, the legion might have a 
much smaller number, and the cohorts and centuries be 
correspondingly weak in men. Their commanding officers 
were the legatus, lieutenant general ; the tribunus, colonel ; 
the centurio, captain. The commander-in-chief in the time 
of the Republic was regularly a consul, the two consuls alter- 
nating ; or, in case of operations in a province, a proconsul, 
such as Caesar in Gaul ; or a dictator, such as Fabius Maxi- 




mus in the Second Punic War or Sulla during his control. 
Under the Empire, the commander-in-chief was the emperor. 
imperator, who sometimes delegated his powers to the 

governor in a prov- 
ince, called legatus 
pro praetore, prae- 
torian legate. 

The organization 
thus described con- 
sisted of Roman 
citizens, and was 
only half the army. 
The other half con- 
sisted of the aux- 
iliaries, a noncitizen 
force of about equal 
numbers in the main 
under citizen officers, 
and so divided that 
to the 6,000 of every 
legion there were 
attached 6,000 aux- 
iliaries, in cohorts of 
500 to 1,000, with 
500 cavalry. The 
two together formed 
the regular or stand- 
ing army as established by Augustus. The chief differences 
between them, besides the matter of citizenship, were, first, 
that the legionaries were volunteers enlisted in any part of 
Roman territory and from any blood, while the auxiliaries 
were conscripted from subject races and served in racial or 
tribal regiments, thus representing a tribute in men exacted 

The Genius presents him with the Symbol of Uni- 
versal Power. 


of the conquered ; second, that the auxiliaries contained a 
greater proportion of cavalry ; third, that in ordinary times 
they performed a great deal of frontier police duty; and, 
fourth, that for the sake of guarding against revolt they 
soon caine to be assigned to service in parts of the Empire 
far distant from their native soil. When the army went to 
war, each legionary commander had under him about equal 
numbers of legionaries and auxiliaries, but the cohorts of the 
latter, under tribunes or prefects, had their separate camp. 

The regular army of the Augustan reform was the natu- 
ral culmination of Roman military experience. When the 
primitive Roman State went to war, it was with an army of 
able-bodied farmers, cattle men, and villagers led by their 
king and his retainers, all of them citizens. If they were the 
aggressors, or had the choice, they went forth in March, the 
month of Mars, carried on their operations until the rains and 
cold of late autumn ended the military season, and passed the 
winter in comparative inactivity so far as the field was con- 
cerned. With the spread of Roman authority through Italy, 
there came the need both of improved military science and 
of larger armies. 

The need of military science was supplied by the develop- 
ment of the legionary system and the strict exclusion from it 
of the noneitizen ; every citizen was bred to expertness in 
arms and every citizen of able body between 18 and 38 owed 
the State his service at the call to arms. It was the legion 
composed solidly of the citizen-soldiers of the Republic that 
occupied the post of honor and consequently met the brunt 
of battle. 

The need of larger armies, the greater because of this ex- 
posure of the citizen to danger, was met by the use of men 
conscripted from the vanquished. When the business of 
conquest carried the Roman arms beyond Italy's borders, the 


need of men for operation and occupation increased so much 
that not only were more auxiliaries employed, but it was no 
longer possible to insist on Italian birth, to say nothing of 
Roman, as a qualification for enrollment in the legion. The 
citizen from outside Italy was admitted as a private, and in 
time as an officer. The noncitizen also, in time, was ac- 
cepted, but by the act itself became a citizen. 

Long before Caesar's time, the army had lost the civic and 
taken on the professional character. Its rank and file 
served for pay and enlisted for a term, and its officers made 
the army a career. So far had the original identity of the 
army and the body of ordinary citizens disappeared that 
generals like Caesar, Pompey, Marius, and Sulla raised armies 
and paid them almost without action on the part of the 
State and employed them sometimes even for private ends. 
When Augustus unified the military forces of the State and 
made himself commander-in-chief of the standing army oi 
legionaries and auxiliaries, the act was a completion of the 
process of making military service professional as well as a 
beginning of the army's use as a scientific instrument in the 
employ of the State. 

, The number of men under arms in the Roman State, as 
well as their character, varied according to period and con- 
ditions. The army that met disaster at Cannae in 216 B.C. 
numbered about 80,000 infantry and 6,000 cavalry, while 
Hannibal's forces were 40,000 infantry and 10,000 cavalry. 
Caesar's forces in the first campaign in Gaul, 58 B.C., con- 
sisted of six legions and 20,000 auxiliaries, and are estimated 
at a total of 40,000 to 50,000 men ; in the seventh campaign, 
52 B.C., they amounted to about 70,000, consisting of 11 
legions and about 30,000 auxiliaries. To the ten existing 
legions, Caesar added five in the course of the war, all enrolled 
The number of legions under his command rose 


from 6 out of 12 in the first year to 11 out of 15 in the seventh. 
Under the Empire, Tacitus tells us that Tiberius had 25 
legions, and we know that by the second century the number 
had increased to the maximum of 30. If every legion were at 
full strength, this would mean a total of 180,000 legionaries, 
which, with ui equal number of auxiliaries, makes the total 
military establishment amount to 360,000 men. As the 
ranks of ancient legion, cohort, and century, however, like 
those of the modern division, regiment, and company, were 

The plumed helmets, lances, aiid ensign are to be noted. 

not always full, it must be remembered that this is an esti- 
mate. The average fighting strength of Caesar's legions 
in Gaul, for example, is variously estimated at from 3,000 to 
5,000 men. 

The soldier of the legion wore a uniform consisting of san- 
dals with thick soles studded with heavy nails, a leather 
tunic or corselet covered with metal hoops or plates and 
reaching nearly to the knee, coarse breeches if he served in a 
cold Climate, and close-fitting metal helmet. The auxiliary 
might keep to the soldier's dress of his native country, but 


usually approximated the legionary in uniform. The officers 
of both were no doubt equipped with uniforms of superior 

The weapons with which the Roman conquered the world 
were the pike, pilum, a heavy wooden shaft with a long iron 
head, the whole measuring about six feet; the javelin; 
the spear, hasta, like the pike but lighter ; and the sword, 
gladius, about three feet long, two-edged, broad, and straight. 
He was protected in battle by the helmet ; the iron plates or 
leather of his corselet ; the shield, scutum or parma, of vari- 
ous shapes, made of wood with metal or leather covering ; 
and sometimes greaves, ocreae. Some of the auxiliaries had 
their special, native weapons; the Balearic slingers, for 
example, and the Syrian bowmen. The cavalry were armed 
with the spear and sword and shield. 

The fighting of the Roman was hand to hand. Advancing 
steadily until a few hundred feet from the enemy, at the 
signal of horn and trumpet sounding the charge the legion 
went into the double-quick. Stopping suddenly at a dis- 
tance of fifty feet or so, the front ranks of the first line of co- 
horts hurled their pikes into the opposing lines and then with 
drawn swords followed their missiles with a rush and engaged 
the enemy in personal combat. If the battle was not soon 
decisive, the front line of cohorts was relieved by the second 
line, which advanced through the intervals between the first 
and engaged the enemy until relieved in its turn. It was 
in these encounters that the effects of the discipline given by 
the sixty centurions and six tribunes of the legion were made 

Fighting of this sort was as direct and effective as a duel ; 
in fact, it may be said to have consisted of a great many duels 
fought simultaneously. Far more than modern battle since 
the time of gunpowder, it was a trial of the endurance and 


skill of the individual soldier. If we are inclined to think it 
simple, we should remember the scientific nature of the 
Roman attack as compared with the mass onset of the Gauls 
and Germans, which really was simple, and the elaborate 
training that prepared the legionary to hurl the pike with sure 
effect, to thrust and parry with the spear and sword, and 
to manage the dagger and shield. It was direct fighting, 
usually soon over, and usually decisive, but it was not simple. 
Even in the slower and less direct operations of the siege, 
there was much more actual contact of enemy with enemy 
than is true of modern times. The besiegers of camp or 
town were within easy sight and sound of the besieged. In- 
stead of shelling the walls from miles away, they battered 
them with a heavy? swinging, iron-headed beam called aries, 
the ram, under cover of a shed or mantlet, vinea, which the 
defenders tried to wreck with fire and stones ; or they mined 
and sapped, sometimes meeting unexpectedly the enemy 
countermining; or they advanced in the testudo or turtle 
formation, with shields interlocked over their heads to pro- 
tect them from darts, arrows, and rocks until they could use 
the ladder or burst through the wall. They built high towers 
on wheels or rollers from which to throw weapons, stones, and 
fire among the garrison on the parapets before letting down a 
bridge and attempting to cross over. They had an artillery 
service. There was the ballista, the ancient cannon, with 
intensely tightened springs of gut or cord taking the place 
of explosive, hurling a stone ball of up to fifty and one hun- 
dred pounds weight from five hundred to one thousand feet, 
and mounted on a carriage quickly drawn by horses to any 
point desired. There was the onager, smaller than the bal- 
lista, and, like it, a sling in principle; and the catapulta, a 
giant bow which hurled an immense arrow, sometimes 
wrapped in blazing material. 



As measures of defense, there was the wall and parapet, 
fronted sometimes by river or moat. At Alesia, where 
Caesar's lines were drawn about the hills on which the city 
stood, and were in turn surrounded by the Gallic army of 
relief, the Roman commander's defenses included a double 
ditch, a rampart and palisade with twenty-three forts at 
intervals, and lines of rough tree branches, trenches, and 
small and deep pits set with sharp stakes called stimuli, 


From right to left : pits containing sharp stakes ; tree branches imbedded in the 
ground, the ancient barbed-wire entanglement; two trenches; palisaded dike 
with towers for the defenders. 

known to the soldiers as " lilies." These devices were the 
barbed-wire entanglements of ancient warfare. 

The thoroughness of Caesar's preparations in the eight 
miles of Alesia's defenses was hardly exceptional. The Ro- 
man commander of his time had the accumulated experi- 
ence of centuries to draw on, knew what was the right thing 
to do in any given situation, and took no chances. The army 
on the march had a special formation as it proceeded through 
country whose friendship was doubted, and even for a halt 



of a single night constructed a fortified camp, the selection 
and laying out of whose site had been done in advance by a 
party of scouts and surveyors, so that on arrival the work of 
every soldier was ready for him. The daring of generals in 
penetrating hostile country and engaging numerically over- 


The ancient town, situated beyond the statue on this height, has been par- 
tially excavated, and many interesting finds are to be seen in the museum, of 
the near-by town of Alise-Ste. Reine. The statue was erected by Napoleon the 

whelming foes was not the taking of chances, but the confi- 
dence of the commander in the superiority of his men and 
their equipment and in his own mastery of military science. 

But the Roman army was not always engaged in marches 
and battles and conquest. Even in the conquering times of 
the Republic, it performed many duties by way of consolida- 


fcion and civilizing, and in the Empire its activities included 
comparatively little actual warfare. With the adoption of a 
nonexpansion policy and the fixing of boundaries, the day of 
campaigns in the grand style passed. The legions were sta- 
tioned far away at the Empire's edge : along the great wall 
on the Scottish border, along the Rhine and Danube and the 
wall connecting their headwaters, along the border of the 
Sahara where the wild tribes surged up from the desert areas, 
on the always troubled and wavering boundaries by the 
Arabian desert and the Euphrates and Tigris. Vigilance 
was always necessary here, and on the northern European 
front there were serious problems of defense ; but most of 
the time on the border it was the foray rather than war that 
troubled the Roman Peace, and in the great body of the 
Empire the only wars were those of rival emperors, and even 
of these, which were mostly the affair of the Praetorian 
Guards at Rome, there was none worth mentioning from 
Vespasian to Septimius Severus. From the middle of the 
third century there was ever increasing need of the army on 
the northern front, until the line against the outer world no 
longer could be held, and the Western Empire came to its 
end ; but even during these times the service in most places 
and for most of the time consisted of garrison duty and 
border policing rather than actual warfare, and the soldier's 
life was almost that of the civilian. 

It was in this semimilitary, semicivil capacity that the 
Roman soldier made his greatest contribution to civilization. 
Prom the first, the Roman procedure with the conquered 
was a mixture of policy and force, with the army for its in- 
strument. The garrison on active duty was used for pacific 
ends as well as for security ; or, rather, was used in measures 
of pacification for the sake of consolidating conquered terri- 
tory. Trade, the language, the customs, and the law of 


Rome went with the eagles. The colony composed of veter- 
ans became another Rome and a little capital which soon 
converted its people into Romans. The permanent border 
camps, at first mere outposts to hold the line of defense, soon 
became the camp cities whose remains in Britain and at 


The roll shows the names of men and their home towns, and above them the 
number of the cohort, its officer's name, and the consuls of the year. Thus : 
Cohort Third, Century of Kanus 
Torquatus and Atticus Consuls 
Treasurer (fisci curator) L(ucius) Taurius Secundus Parma 

Timgad and Lambaesis in Africa and elsewhere show how 
much more they were cities than camps. 

The soldier in them perhaps never saw important active 
service. He enlisted for his twenty years, married a woman 
of the neighborhood, reared a family, kept a garden, perhaps 


had business connections. Whether a native Roman or 
Italian, or a Roman citizen from elsewhere, he and his com- 
rades were the great means of naturalizing the surrounding 
districts as Roman. Their language, their manners, their 
religion, their law, their ideas, their sentiments, their in- 
stitutions, were those of the Roman citizen. Their long resi- 
dence and intimate mingling in the life of the community 
made Spain, France. England, Roumania, Italy and Sicily, 
and Africa for the time of its occupation, into Roman coun- 
tries. The legion, like many a modern regiment, retained its 
name and in some cases its post for centuries. The Valeria 
Victrix, the Alauda, the Tenth, the Spanish, and the 
Emperor's Own went on, the places of their dead supplied 
)by new recruits, their history enriched by gallant incident, 
until their names stood for the history of the army and the 
State. The cities of Chester, castra, in England, and Le6n, 
legio, in Spain, still testify by the names to their origin in the 
camp city of Rome. The Greek-speaJking culture, in lands 
already old and established in the arts of war and peace, and 
more thickly populated, they did not transform to the same 
extent, but even the East was ruled by Roman law, and it 
was an Eastern emperor, Justinian, who performed the final 
and greatest service of the ancient Roman to modern times 
by reducing Roman law to system in the great Code. 

Such in outline was the Roman army and its work. To 
go more into detail is not possible here. It would halt us 
too long to be told what the legionary ate and drank and how 
he was provisioned ; to learn of his work as engineer and 
scout and in the signal service ; to follow him on the march 
with his scientifically ordered columns and baggage train, and 
to witness the speed and accuracy with which he built a 
bridge and crossed a river, or converted the rough plot of 
ground in the wilderness into the camp with every conven- 



ience and safety ; to share in imagination his battles, sieges, 
fortunes, and to tell of his disastrous chances, 

"Of moving accidents by flood and field, 
Of hair-breadth 'scapes i' the imminent deadly breach," 

and perhaps even of his " being taken by the insolent foe," 
and, like Othello, sold to slavery ; to participate in the warm 
comradeship of camp and campaign which gave his adven- 


Stone balls of one to fifty pounds were hurled by this mechanical sling, called 
ballista, a distance of 500 to 1000 feet. The arm carrying the sling was drawn 
down toward the horses, the stone was placed, and the arm released by trigger. 
The bag of sand received the arm as it spent its energy. 

tures a zest and relieved routine of dullness ; to feel with him 
the joys of promotion and the furlough ; to learn, less pleas- 
antly, of the coarseness and roughness and cruelties and tyr- 
annies he had to suffer and to inflict in the course of his duties. 
We are looking at the Roman army in the laxge as one of the 
institutions of the Roman State which for a thousand years 
performed its work successfully, and failed only at the end ; 
and failed then because it had trained in its own ranks 


oorder nations that swept it back in the day of its old age and 
exhaustion. Let us conclude by asking what were the causes 
of its thousand years of successful marching and battling, 
and settling and keeping settled the affairs of Roman civili- 

The answer to this question will not be that the enemies 
whom the Roman army subdued were its inferiors in 
physique, or in numbers, or in wealth, or even in experience. 
It did indeed meet and subdue inferiors in these respects, but 
it met and subdued also armies that surpassed it in them all. 
What the Roman army possessed which was not possessed in 
equal measure by any of its antagonists may be simply ex- 
pressed. It was what the Roman people in general possessed. 
It was character as men and discipline as men engaged in the 
work of a state. Without these and with every other possible 
advantage, there would have been no onward march of either 
army or State. 

But let us make room for two testimonies from the ancients 
themselves one a Roman four hundred years after Christ, 
and one a Greek who wrote almost six centuries before the 

" In any battle," writes Flavius Vegetius Renatus in a military 
treatise, "it is uot so much numbers and untrained valor as expert- 
ness and training that bring victory. It is clear that the Roman 
people subdued the world simply because of their attention to train- 
ing in arms, their camp discipline, and their experience in military 
science. What could the Romans with their small number have 
done against the Greeks with their multitudes? How could the 
short-etatured Roman have dared to face the gigantic German? 
It is plain that the Spaniards surpassed our men not only in num- 
bers but in stratagem and money. No one ever doubted that we 
were inferior to the Greeks in knowledge and wisdom. But where 
we have had the advantage over all these things has been in the 
skillful picking of the recruit, the instruction of him, so to speak, 


in the law of arms, the hardening of him by daily drill, the prepara- 
tion of him by practice in the field to meet every situation that 
can arise in the line of battle, the taking of stern measures against 
the sluggard. For it is knowing the science of war that increases 
daring in battle. No one is afraid to do what he is confident he 
has learned well." 

The other and older testimony is from Polybius, the Greek 
historian of Rome and friend of Scipio the Younger, a witness 
of the destruction of Carthage, and a resident in Rome about 
165-148 B.C. 

"Owing to the extreme severity and inevitableness of the 
penalty [bastinado by all members of the camp], the night 
watches of the Roman army are most scrupulously kept. 
While the soldiers are subject to the tribunes, the latter are 
subject to the consuls. A tribune, and in the case of the allies a 
prefect, has the right of inflicting fines, of demanding sureties, and 
of punishing by flogging. The bastinado is also inflicted on those 
who steal anything from the camp ; on those who give false evi- 
dence ; on young men who have abused their persons ; and finally 
on anyone who has been punished thrice for the same fault. These 
are the offenses which are punished as crimes, the following being 
treated as unmanly acts and disgraceful in a soldier : when a man 
boasts falsely to the tribune of his valor in the field in order to gain 
distinction ; when any men who have been placed in a covering 
force leave the station assigned to them from fear; likewise when 
anyone throws away from fear any of his arms in the actual battle. 
Therefore the men in covering forces often face certain death, refus- 
ing to leave their ranks even when vastly outnumbered, owing to 
dread of the punishment they would meet with ; and again in battle 
men who have lost a shield or sword or any other arm often throw 
themselves into the midst of the enemy, hoping either to recover 
the lost object or to escape by death from inevitable disgrace and 
the taunts of their relations. 

"If the same thing ever happens to large bodies, and if entire 
maniples desert their posts when exceedingly hard press _d, the 
officers refrain from inflicting the bastinado or the death penalty 
on all, but find a solution of the difficulty which is both salutary 


and terror-striking. The tribune assembles the legion, and brings 
up those guilty of leaving the ranks, reproaches them sharply, and 
finally chooses by lot sometimes five, sometimes eight, sometimes 
twenty of the offenders, so adjusting the number thus chosen that 
they form as near as possible the tenth part of those guilty of cow- 
ardice. Those on whom the lot falls are bastinadoed mercilessly 
in the manner above described ; the rest receive rations of barley 
instead of wheat and are ordered to encamp outside the camp on 
an unprotected spot. 

"They also have an admirable method of encouraging the young 
soldiers to face danger. After a battle in which some of them have 
distinguished themselves, the general calls an assembly of the 
troops, and bringing forward those whom he considers to have dis- 
played conspicuous valor, first of all speaks in laudatory terms of 
the courageous deeds of each and of anything else in their pre- 
vious conduct which deserves commendation, and afterwards dis- 
tributes the following rewards [various decorations like the modern 
distinguished service medal]. . . . The recipients of such gifts, 
quite apart from becoming famous in the army and famous too 
for the time at their homes, are especially distinguished in religious 
processions after their return, as no one is allowed to wear decora- 
tions except those on whom these honors for bravery have been 
conferred by the consul; and in their houses they hang up the 
spoils they won in the most conspicuous places, looking upon them 
as tokens and evidences of their valor. Considering all this atten- 
tion given to the matter of punishments and rewards in the army 
and the importance attached to both, no wonder that the wars in 
which the Romans engage end so successfully and brilliantly." 



We have said little thus far about the vast inland or 
"midland" sea called the Mediterranean which is so great 
a factor in the story of Rome This is partly because we 
have been studying mostly the city of Rome and the people 
within its walls, but it is also partly because our habit of 
thought regarding this body of water is not quite correct. 

We think and speak of the Roman Empire as if it were 
to be defined as an aggregation of territories bordering on 
the Mediterranean, and do not realize as we should that the 
sea itself was a part of the Empire. The Mediterranean 
united as well as separated the parts of the Roman territory 
that lay on its shores. Roman subjects dwelt on its few 
larger islands and its innumerable smaller islands, and made 
their homes on the craft that went to and fro upon its bosom ; 
it had its population as well as the land. 

The sea also had its riches to yield, as well as the land. 
It furnished, and still furnishes, a great part of the salt 
used in countries far and near. With its fish, it helped to 
feed the Roman people. It yielded the shellfish that made 
the purple dye of the imperial robes. It furnished the 

But these were not the only contributions of the sea. It 
modified and equalized the climate of all its borders. It 
tempered the North wind in winter and in summer sent its 
breezes inland to make the heat more endurable. It sent 
its evaporations over the land to condense and fall as the 


gentle rain of heaven. It ministered to variety and beauty 
in the landscape. Its high shores, clothed in orchard and 
vineyard and interrupted by fruitful valleys, its precipitous 
mountain borders, its picturesquely smoking marine and 
coastal volcanoes, its gleaming islands of limestone and mar- 
ble rising steeply out of fathomless depths, its bluest of 
waters shimmering in the calm or sparkling with gold or 
lacy with curling foam in the gale, its white-winged sail- 
ing ships and brown-winged fishing fleets, its lazily wheel- 
ing gulls and joyously leaping porpoises what other sea 
is its equal in the brilliance of its charms? And what other 
sea is peopled like it with Naiads and Nereids and rising 
Proteuses and Tritons blowing their wreathed horns, or con- 
ceals in its depth such wonderful caverns and grots and 
palaces, or has furnished the settings for an Odyssey or an 

The Mediterranean in historic times is but a fraction of 
the great sea which in remote ages extended far eastward 
and included the Black and Caspian seas and the plains of 
Central Asia ; yet even in its diminished form its extent is 
hard to realize. The area of the United States in North 
America, exclusive of Alaska, is 3,042,494 square miles; 
the area of the Mediterranean is 1,145,830 square miles. 
The Mediterranean is thus a little more than one third 
the size of our 48 States. It is a little less than one third of 
Europe's total area of 3,785,000 square miles. It is equal to 
20 Wisconsins, or 24 New Yorks, or 13 Kansases, or 7 Cali- 
fornias, or 19 Georgias, or 4 Texases, and is 140 times the 
area of Massachusetts. It would contain the area of our 
Great Lakes ten times. Italy, the largest peninsula in- 
denting it, is one tenth its area, the peninsula of Greece one 
forty-sixth ; Sicily, its largest island, one hundredth. 

There are four natural divisions composing the Mediter- 


ranean : the Western, bounded by Africa, Spain, France, 
Italy, and Sicily; the Sicilian-Ionian, bounded by Sicily, 
the southern extremity of Italy, Greece, and Africa; the 
Adriatic ; the Eastern, bounded by Greece, Tripoli, Egypt, 
and Asia, and including the numerous Greek archipelagoes. 
Of these, the Adriatic forms about a twentieth part of the 
total area, and the other three something less than one third 
each. The niche in the Eastern basin occupied by the 
Aegean Sea is four hundred miles from north to south, longer 
than Lake Michigan and more than twice as wide. 

The life of man in the Mediterranean basin began many 
hundred thousand years ago with the westward migrations 
from somewhere beyond the eastern end of the sea ; perhaps 
from Egypt, perhaps from some point where Europe and 
southwestern Asia meet. The routes of the earliest men can 
only be conjectured. They probably advanced by both the 
southern shore and the northern, but mostly by the southern, 
peopling by slow degrees the fertile fringe of Africa between 
sea and desert, crossing into Spain, and continuing to north 
and east until they met their fellows advancing by the 
northern route and thus completed the encircling of the sea. 
From the time they began to use tools, that is, from the be- 
ginning of the Old Stone Age, it is calculated that a hundred 
and twenty-five thousand years have passed. The last part 
of this period, about 40,000 B.C. to 12,000 B.C., has been 
much studied the past half century in the caves of France 
and Spain. The men who lived in these dwellings could 
make shapely implements of war and peace, and decorated 
these and the walls of their caverns with beautiful drawings. 
Their age was called the Reindeer Period because of its most 
prominent animal, and came to an end with the fourth 
retreat of the glaciers, aboui 14,000 years ago, with which 
the present climatic era began. 




Scale of Mfl<* 
(? 1QO 200 400 600 

A.P. AlpMFooinM 
A.M. Alptf UuitiflUft. 

territory at the beginning of the 1st Punic war (264 B.C.) 
Acquisitions taring the 1st. Punic war (Z38B.C) 

uptotheendofthe2mL Puniewuri201B C.) 
* 133 before Chnat 
* the death of Julias Caesar (44B C) 

Augustus (14 A.D.) 

< - - MrcusAnrelius(180A.D.) 
- - Boundaries of the Roman provinces before Diocletian 

Imperial provinces Senatorial provinces 

- Boundary of the eastand west Roman Empire 395 A-D^ahaded 
edging means half-dependent, fl*t shading means incorporated; figures 

show the year of acquisition and* hen marked with an a mean A.D 


Not to attempt a further account of the movements 
of the earliest men on the Mediterranean shores, let us go on 
by saying that at the more or less obscure dawning of his- 
tory there was a double migration by the northern and 
southern routes. By the northern, from the borders of 
Europe and Asia not far from the Caspian Sea, advanced 
the Indo-European stock whose westward movement re- 
sulted in the Greeks, the Romans, the Celts, and the Teu- 
tons ; by the southern, from Phoenicia principally, advanced 
the Semitic stock which made Carthage a new and licher 
center of power and spread Semitic culture and commerce 
along the shores of Africa, across the strait, and up the coast 
of Spain. 

As the north and south shores met at the Pillars of Her- 
cules between Spain and Africa, and as the Mediterranean 
at Carthage is almost bridged by Sicily, it was hardly possi- 
ble that the two civilizations should not some day collide 
The fact that their peoples were of different bloods and na- 
tions was enough to make them hostile, and there was in 
addition to this a rivalry on the sea. 

The rivalry began with the clashing of Greek with Car- 
thaginian. Carthage had inherited and developed the com- 
mercial and naval power of her mother country, Phoenicia, 
and the Greek had become expert on the waters and in the 
markets of the West as well as the East. The Aegean 
islands, the west coast of the Adriatic, Corcyra, the South 
of Italy, the West of Italy as far as Cumae, Marseilles and 
its neighborhood, composed a Greater Greece of trade and 
colonization ; the north coast of Africa, and southern Spain 
with New Carthage as its capital, made a Greater Phoenicia 
or Greater Carthage. 

For a long time the ships of Indo-European Greek and 
Semitic Carthaginian contended in the rivalries of trade with* 


cut appeal to arms. When they did come finally to the test 
of arms, it was in the Western sea. When in 600 B.C. the 
Greeks founded Massilia, the ancient Marseilles, and later, 
when from Massilia they attempted to extend their colonies 
and trade control to Spain and Corsica, they came into con- 
flict with the Carthaginians and their allies, the Etruscans, 
on the sea. In the campaign of Xerxes against the Eastern 
Greeks which ended at Salamis in 480 B.C., the Carthaginians 
participated by invading Sicily, whose western part had long 
been controlled by Carthage as its eastern part had been 
controlled by Greece. The battle of the Himera, said to 
have been fought on the very day of Salamis, resulted in 
the defeat and destruction of the Carthaginian army and 
fleet. In 474 B.C. the Etruscan sympathizers with Carthage 
were defeated by the Sicilian Greek fleet off Cumae, which 
they were besieging. Henceforth, the Carthaginian was 
definitely halted in Sicily and confined to southern Spain 
and the coast of Africa. 

Meanwhile the Roman power was expanding in Italy. 
Because its ambitions were compelled to center in the sub- 
jugation of the peninsula, it paid little attention to com- 
merce on the sea and less to the maintenance of ships of war. 
Both the military and the trade problems of Rome up to the 
opening of the third century B.C. were concerned mostly 
with its neighbors on Italian soil. This does not mean that 
it had no interest at all in overseas people or trade, or that 
it had not felt the need of naval power. From an early 
time, it had used the Tiber and had bartered with the coastal 
towns as well as the inland. It had known the imports from 
the Myceneans and the Greeks and from farther east. It 
had intimate relations with the Greeks of Massilia. There 
still survives the substance of a treaty between Rome and 
Carthage dating perhaps as early as 500 B.C., and certainly 



not later than 348 B.C., which indicates at least some sharing 
by Rome in the traffic of the sea. In 338 B.C. the defeat of 
the Latin allies by Rome in the naval battle of Antium 
increased the Roman navy by many captured ships. In 
311 B.C. the appointment of duoviri navales, two commis- 
sioners of the fleet, and in 267 B.C. the institution of foui 


Note the two rows of oars, the animal figurehead, the rostrum or beak, the fore- 
castle, and the marines, two of whom are ready to leap for the land. 

quaestors of the fleet, to be stationed at Ostia, the port of 
Rome, at Gales in Campania, at Ariminum on the east coast, 
and at a fourth point not known, are further indications of 
the growth of naval ambition at Rome. 

Yet all this meant little in comparison with Greek or 
Carthaginian commercial and naval power. The treaty with 
Carthage prohibited Roman trade in the eastern Mediter- 
ranean and on the Atlantic, leaving free only the western 
Mediterranean, and not even that without restriction. Such 


a treaty was possible only because of Roman helplessness. 
Occupied with Italian affairs of war and peace, possessing a 
small navy, and having great stretches of coast open to at- 
tack by the superior navy of Carthage, the Romans had no 

It was only when the Roman set foot across the two miles 
of water separating Italy and Sicily that Roman naval 
history began in earnest. This was in 265 B.C., when, 
in answer to the appeal of the people of Messana, the present 
Messina, two Roman legions were sent to their aid in de- 
fiance of the wishes of Carthage, by that time strong in 
Sicily. This crossing of the straits brought on the First 
Punic War, 265-241 B.C. In its fourth year the Romans, 
adopting the plan to drive the Carthaginians from Sicily, 
in six weeks created a fleet of a hundred ships on the model 
of a stranded enemy ship. They lost seventeen of them with 
their admiral in a first battle, in the second badly defeated 
the Carthaginian fleet, and in a third established the naval 
superiority of Rome. These two great victories, at Mylae 
in 260 B.C. and at Ecnomus in 256 B.C., were equaled by the 
victory at Aegusa in 241 B.C., which ended the war and made 
Sicily a Roman island. 

From the First Punic War on, the freedom of Rome on the 
sea could hardly be questioned. When, with the Second 
and Third Punic wars, and the Macedonian wars, the greater 
part of the shores also passed under the control of Rome, the 
Roman supremacy in naval power was almost wholly un- 
challenged, and the Roman navy was looked to as respon- 
sible for order and safety on the sea. It took nearly a 
hundred years after the destruction of Carthage in 146 B.C. 
for Rome properly to meet this obligation. 

The Mediterranean was infested by piracy of two kinds. 
There was the ordinary piracy of the robber individual or 



the robber group or race who stopped a ship and seized its 
cargo and held its crew or passengers for ransom, and there 
was the piracy consisting of guerilla warfare on the sea 
carried on or instigated by the eastern border enemies of 
Rome. Of the former, the Balearic pirates in the West 


Above two dolphins symbolic of the sea are two ships under full sail, each with 
two steering-oars, riding in the gale before a lighthouse. 

and the Cilicians in the East were notorious ; of the latter, 
the numerous raiders in the employ of Mithridates of Pontus, 
in Asia Minor, an able trouble maker for the Romans from 
105 B.C. to his death in 63 B.C., whose activities reached as 
far as Spain, including an attack on Ostia, fifteen miles from 

The Balearic pirates were effectively halted in their career 
by an expedition in 123 B.C. under Metellus, who occupied 


the islands and took measures for their Romanization. The 
Cilicians and Mithridates were not so easily managed. 
The Cilicians had many ships, conducted a lively trade in 
slaves, had important commercial connections, were some- 
times employed by the scheming rulers of the East, and met 
with a toleration that made them overbold. The activities 
of Mithridates, we are told, included the destruction of four 
hundred towns in the Mediterranean through the employ- 
ment of pirate ships. 

The end of all these troubles, and of disorders more local 
in origin, came with the Gabinian and Manilian laws of 67 
and 66 B.C., conferring on Pompey the supreme command 
against piracy wherever found, and also against Mithridates 
in his dominions. Cicero's oration for the Manilian Law, 
advocating the extension of Pompey's commission to include 
the war against Mithridates, not only tells us of Pompey's 
great success in clearing the seas, but indicates the state of 
the Mediterranean before the expedition. 

" Need I tell you that these years the sea has been closed to our 
allies," the orator asks, " when your own armies have never crossed 
from Brundisium except in the middle of winter? Am I to com- 
plain to you that envoys coming to you from foreign lands have 
been captured, when envoys of the Roman people have had to be 
ransomed? . . . What state before has ever been so slight, what 
island so small, that it could not defend for itself its own harbors 
and fields and some part of its coast and territory? And yet, by 
Hercules, for a period of several years before the Gabinian Law, the 
great Roman people, whose name as far back as our memory goes 
has never suffered defeat in battles at sea, had lost a great part, yes, 
by far the greatest part, not only of its trade advantages but of its 
dignity and authority. We, whose forefathers overcame King Anti- 
ochus and Perseus on the sea, and in every naval battle vanquished 
the Carthaginians, a nation most thoroughly trained and prepared 
in the use of the sea, had long been unable to meet the freebooters 
in any single place. We, who before had not only kent Italv safe, 


but were able by the strength of our authority to guarantee safety 
to all our allies on the remotest shores . . . we, I say, were kept 
not only from our provinces and the coasts of Italy and from 
the use of our ports, but even from the Appian Way ; and in 
times like that the magistrates of the Roman people were not 
ashamed to come on to this very platform, though our fathers 
left it to us adorned with naval trophies and the spoils of enemy 
fleets ! 

"Immortal gods! Can it be that the unbelievable, the divine 
abilities of a single human being could in so brief a space of time 
cause so much light to shine upon our State that you, who but a 
moment ago looked upon the enemy's fleet before the entrance to 
the Tiber, now hear that on this side cf the entrance to the Ocean 
not a single ship of the pirates is left? And though you see with 
what swiftness these things were accomplished, I must neverthe- 
less not pass it by ; for what man, either in his eagerness to perform 
a duty or in the pursuit of gain, could ever have visited so many 
places and made such long voyages with the rushing speed of this 
great campaign on the sea under Pompey's leadership? The sea- 
son for navigation had not yet opened when he sailed for Sicily, 
reconnoitred Africa, and then came with the fleet to Sardinia. 
These three grain resources of the State he furnished with the 
strongest garrisons and with naval forces. Next, after ha,ving 
returned to Italy, he strengthened the two Spains and Gaul with 
garrisons and ships, sent ships likewise to the coast of lUyricuin, to 
Aohaia, and to all Greece, and equipped the two seas of Italy with 
the greatest sea power and the strongest military protection, while 
he himself set out from Brundisium and on the forty-ninth day 
annexed all Cilicia to the territory of the Roman people. All 
pirates everywhere in part were taken captive and executed, and 
in part surrendered themselves to the authority and power of this 
one man. He went on ; from the Cretans, in spite of their sending 
envoys as far as Pamphylia to beg his clemency, he did not take 
away their hope of being allowed to surrender, and levied hostages. 
In such wise this great war, lasting so long and diffused so widely 
and far, a war from which all nations and races were suffering, 
did Gnaeus Pompeius make ready for at the end of winter, under- 
take at the beginning of spring, and in midsummer bring to an 


Pompey's 49 days in the East were preceded by an equally 
Affective 40 days in the West. The record included the cap- 
ture of 377 ships and the burning of 1,300. This was the last 
of the Cilician and the Mithridatic marauders, and the first 
of an orderly Mediterranean. 

Before peace on the waters could be permanent, however, 
the naval movements of the civil war between Pompey and 
Caesar, between Pompey's son Sextus and Caesar's suc- 
cessor Augustus, and between Antony and Augustus, ending 
with the battle of Actium in 31 B.C., were necessary. When 
Augustus emerges from the conflict of thirteen years between 
Julius Caesar's death and Actium, he makes the harbor at 
Misenum, west of Naples, and the harbor at Ravenna in 
the Northeast the stations of the imperial fleet, with guar- 
dian ships elsewhere at convenient points. The Mediter- 
ranean for the first time ceases to be a sea separating three 
continents, and is a Roman lake mare nostrum. When 
Horace writes, 

" Pacatum volitant per mare navitae," 

it is the end of one long story and the beginning of another. 
The navy henceforth is a body of marine police, a conven- 
ience for the administrators of the Empire, a transport serv- 
ice, a carrier or escort of the emperor and his high officials, 
and only on occasion the instrument of actual war ; and then 
far away in the North Sea, on Rhine and Danube, or in the 
Black Sea. 

It remains to say something of the unit which composed 
the navy and of the navy as a whole. The warship, navis 
longa, was propelled by wind and oar, and was classified 
according to oarage. There were biremes, triremes, quadri- 
remes, quinqueremes, and ships of extra size. The oars 
projected through holes probably fitted with leather to 



keep rough water out. The rowers, who were allies, freed- 
men, captives, slaves, criminals, or others constrained to a 
hard service, sat on benches just inside the hull. The long 
prevalent theory of superposed rows or banks of oars, 

, =* the upper with longer 

r sweep, as in the illus- 

tration, is now ques- 
tioned. The view is 
advanced that the 
quadrireme had one 
bank of oars with four 
men to the oar, the 
quinquereme the same 
with five, etc. ; and 
that the trireme, like 
the Venetian galley, 
had one man to each 
oar, with oarsmen 
seated on a level or on 
slightly rising levels in 
groups of three, and 
the men of each group 
placed one a little 
farther forward and 
farther in than another, 
so that the oars did not interfere. For speed, six to eight- 
miles an hour was a good average, the higher made pos- 
sible and easier by one large square sail on the main mast, 
sometimes aided by a square sail below and a triangular 
above. The ship was steered in quite simple fashion bj 
means of two large oars, and had cord or chain cables. 
It was armed at the prow with a metal beak, usually c.f 
bronze, for the purpose of ramming the enemy ship, tea *- 


The crew are resting on their oars. 
(From "Ben Hur") 


ing a hole in its side below the water line, and sinking it. 
On the f oredeck was also a tower, from which to throw weap- 
ons, the ancient form of the "forecastle." For boarding 
purposes, there were poles and ladders, a small boat, and tall 
beams with hooks at the end to let fall on the enemy's deck 
and hold him. 

The trireme resembled the Greek, which had 170 oarsmen 
and about 20 sailors and 10 fighting men, a total of 200 ; 
but the Roman had upwards of 100 fighting men, and was 
no doubt different in size and other respects. A quin- 
quereme had about 420 men, including 300 oarsmen. The 
trireme was about 24 horsepower, had a tonnage of 75, and 
under favoring conditions could make 10 miles an hour. 
With painted figurehead of Mars or Neptune, with officers 
and men in full uniform and panoply standing at attention, 
with the imperial ensign flying, it was no doubt a stirring 
sight as the squadron, gay with decorations and proud 
with trophies, came up the Tiber from Ostia on the re- 
turn from distant seas and swept into the city between 
the cheering crowds to put in at the docks by the Campus 

The size of the navy after the fall of Carthage was deter- 
mined by the need of the times, and not by rivalry in time 
of peace with powers expected some day to be active enemies. 
At Actium, Antony's 500 ships and Cleopatra's 60 were 
met by Augustus with 250. Pompey's command against the 
East included 500 ships. At Ecnomus in 256 B.C., Polybius 
'says the Romans had 330 ships and the Carthaginians 350, 
each a total of about 150,000 men as crews and fighters. 
In A.D. 16 there were a thousand vessels in the North Sea 
and on the Rhine, but not on the footing of actual war. The 
total shipping of the imperial fleets was no doubt very great, 
yet not so great as might be thought from the number of 


craft in the North. Like the army, the navy, under the 
Empire, was on duty chiefly at the border, and the Medi- 
terranean squadrons were comparatively small. 

Such was Mare Nostrum, and such the naval arm of 


In our account of the Roman army and of Roman control 
over the Mediterranean in the center of the Empire and over 
the various waters on its borders, we have considered the 
cwo great arms by which the Roman State acquired and held 
its dominion. We have been dealing with movement, but 
military and navy movement. A better understanding 
should be had now of movement in times of peace and in the 
ordinary ways of life ; that is, of the travel, commerce, and 
verbal communication by which the Empire was knit to- 
gether into a coherent and compact whole. This will involve 
some attention to Roman roads and their use, to the carrying 
trade in men and goods by land and sea, and to the sending 
of letters and other messages. 

The great arteries of the Roman Empire were the roads. 
Their total mileage at the maximum is estimated at 47,000, 
of which Gaul, or France, had 13,200, and Sicily a thousand. 
They served the same purposes as those accomplished by 
the modern railway, and their history resembles that of the 
railway lines. They followed the lines of communication 
already existing, and replaced the poorly kept and often in- 
direct dirt roads and paths by solid, straight, durable, stone 
pavements over which men and goods could reach their des- 
tinations with greater convenience, safety, and speed. 4s a 
usual thing, their construction followed the extension of the 
Roman sway, for the double purpose of facilitating commerce 
with the newly acquired territory and of providing for the 



rapid movement of the army. The Appian Way, for ex- 
ample, was paved with stone from Rome to Capua in 312 
B.C., twenty-six years after Rome's victory over the Latin 
Confederation, whose various members occupied territories 
along its line. Later, when the Samnites and South Italy 
became Roman, the Appia was extended to Beneventum 
and Brundisium. 

The Appian Way was the oldest of the improved Roman 
roads, and the most celebrated. Its beautiful description 
as Regina Viarum, Queen of Highways, occurs in the poet 
Statius. It left Rome at a southern gate, traversed the 
Campagna on a long bed of basalt which served then, and 
still serves, as a quarry for the street-paving material of tho 
city, to the slopes of the Alban Mount ; continued along the 
base of the Volscian Mountains to the sea at Tarracina : 
crept around the cliffs and went on through the mountains 
to Beneventum, reaching the Adriatic at Barium, whence it 
kept to the coast until its termination at Brundisium. 

Another of the great highways was the Via Flaminia, 
which began in the Via Lata, the modern Corso, inside the 
gates, crossed the Tiber at the Mulvian Bridge, and ter- 
minated at Ariminum on the Adriatic. It was begun by 
Gaius Flaminius, censor in 220 B.C. and builder also of the 
Circus Flaminius, and was finished in 187 B.C. The exten- 
sion of it through the plains of North Italy to what are now 
Piacenza and Milan was called the Via Aemilia, from M. 
Aemilius Lepidus, its builder as far as Placentia, the modern 

The Via Aurelia, climbing the Jamculum, made for the 
west coast, which it followed, like the modern railway, to 
Pisa, Genoa, and the Rhone Valley in Gaul. The Via Salaria 
was the line of communication between Rome and the 
Adriatic through the Sabine country and Piceniun. TV 



Tiburtina entered the Apennines at Tibur, modern Tivoli, 
.after eighteen miles through the plain of Latium, and con- 
tinued as the Via Valeria to the Adriatic, a little south of 
Adria, the city which gave the sea its name. The Via 
Latina ran inland parallel to the Appia and joined it in 


The heavy basaltic blocks, from the quarries near Home, are one to three feet 
Jiick. This is the Via Sacra on which Horace walked : Ibam forte Via Sacra sicut 
meus est mos. 

Campania. The Via Cassia passed the lake of Bolsena and 
can through Clusium and Arretium to Florentia and Luca, 
iiear which it joined the Via Aurelia. 

These were the main-traveled roads in Italy. There 
were other roads from Rome, and of course there were 


branches of the main roads, some of them interprovinciai, 
and some only local. Outside of Italy, the chief routes were 
continued beyond the Alps in France and Britain and in the 
Rhine and Danube country. Beyond the Mediterranean 
they continued the paths of the sea into Spain, Africa, Egypt, 
Asia, the Black Sea country, Greece, and Dalmatia. All 
roads radiated from Rome the capital, the center and heart 
of their world, or were feeders to those which did. "AJ] 
roads lead to Rome" is not an empty expression. 

There is no better way to an appreciation of the part 
played by the Roman road than the comparison of it with 
the modern railroad. 

In the first place, it has already been noticed that the two 
main purposes of road construction were tha facilitation of 
military movement and the encouragement of trade. Both 
are purposes familiar in modern times ; the Simplon road oi 
Napoleon, the railways of Germany and France at the border, 
the roads of India, are illustrations. We do not forget, cf 
course, that in the older countries conquered by Rome, the 
roads were already established, and were only taken over and 

In the second place, Rome is to be thought of as a road 
center just as Paris and London and Chicago are railroad 
centers. Some sixteen roads came into Rome, seven of 
which ran to the sea or the Alps, with connections beyond, 
and were what might be Called main lines. 

Thirdly, the Roman roads represented routes determined 
by natural and commercial convenience. They followed 
the coast, or the straight line in the plain, or the river valleys 
leading to passes in the mountain country, or connected thriv- 
ing towns, quite like the modern railroad. Like the railroad, 
too, their coining created many a town. They were at the 
time the effect and the cause of Roman extension. 



Fourthly, the construction of the Roman road as an en- 
gineering enterprise was comparable to railroad building. 
The line from point to point was generally straight, and 
the stretches of the line were as long as physiography per- 
mitted. The Appian Way in its first stretch ran from Rome 
to Tarracina on the coast, seventy-five miles. Cuttings, 


The stone margins and pavement are still to be seen in many places, and the road 
is bordered for miles by tomb ruins. 

viaducts, gradings, and even tunnels are still to be seen on 
many of the routes, the evidence of this refusal to deviate. 
The roadbed itself was systematically laid. Two parallel 
trenches were first dug, ten to fifteen feet apart on main 
lines and less on local or cross lines, and the material between 
was excavated. In this excavation was laid a triple founda- 
tion consisting of a stratum of small broken stones, a stratum 
of smaller stones mixed with mortar and firmly tamped, and 


the bed of cement which received the massive blocks of the 
actual pavement. The blocks were of limestone from the 
mountains or, more frequently, of silex, or basalt, from some 
volcanic quarry, and might be either rectangular or po- 
lygonal ; the basalt usually being the latter, and carefully 
dressed and accurately fitted into a smooth and beautifully 
patterned surface. To take care of the drainage, the surface 
was slightly rounded and there were runnels at the sides, 
with now and then a main or culvert under the road. At 
the extreme edges were curbs, and beyond them graveled 
paths for walkers. 

The features thus described were characteristic of the 
normal main road near Rome and in the richer parts of the 
Empire. Roads naturally varied with the region traversed 
and the spirit of the builder. In the mountains, "the natural 
rock would serve partly as foundation ; in the marshes, the 
foundation had to be made of piles. At Rome, there was 
plenty of basalt, the most durable of stones ; in other places, 
the harder kinds of limestone had to serve, or, in districts 
of less importance, the leveled earth road or the graveled 

In the fifth place, the Roman roads, like many railroad 
systems, were built, administered, and operated by the State. 
There are differences to be noted, however. 

A first difference is to be seen in the fact that many 
Roman roads by their names testify to an origin in the special 
concern of individuals. Appius Claudius, Gaius Flaminius, 
Aemilius Lepidus, and others after whom main lines or 
branches were named, were the pioneer organizers in road- 
building enterprise, and probably were responsible for some 
part of its cost. Under the Republic, the authority of the 
State operated in Italy through a censor, a consul, a local 
magistrate, or the general of an army in the field ; in the 


provinces, through the proconsul or propraetor acting as 
governor. Under the Empire, the emperor was the source 
of authority. 

A second difference was that the maintenance of the road, 
and in many cases the original cost, was charged, in part or 
whole according to period, to the cities or provinces through 
which it ran. Under the Republic, the burden fell heavily 
on the subject peoples at first, and afterward on both sub- 
jects and allies. Under the Empire, it was shifted to the 
Government; by the time of Septimius Severus that part 
of the traffic which was public had been nationalized and was 
maintained at the imperial expense, but local obligations 
were still of such weight as to cause bitter complaint. In 
the late Empire, when, according to Professor Westermann, 
the transport of supplies was assigned to individual private 
citizens as a compulsory duty, and "finally became a heredi- 
tary obligation upon those engaged in it," the maintenance 
of the roads also was probably assigned at least in part. 
The method was not unknown in earlier times ; the triumvirs 
of 43 B.C., Octavius, Antony, and Lepidus, compelled indi- 
vidual senators to repair roads at their own expense. 

A third difference to be noted is that the ancient road was 
not devoted to a single method or means of traffic. It was 
freely used by pedestrians, riders, and drivers, public and 
private alike, not limited to paid regular service of one sort. 
It was a road, and not a track with a fixed gauge. One rest- 
ing by the roadside an hour might have seen a dozen kinds of 
vehicles and animals pass. There was the light and nimble, 
two-wheeled, two-horsed, open cisium, with one double 
seat. There was the raeda, a big, heavy four-wheeler drawn 
by two and four horses, for a larger number of passengers. 
There were the carpentum, two-wheeled, two-horsed, and 
covered, and the pilentum, four-wheeled, heard of as used on 


About an ornamental device with four Atlas figures enclosing the center of the 
chamber floor are four scenes of mules and their drivers. Four of the animals are 
named Pudens, Podagrosus, Potiscus, Barosua. The last two are unhitched and 
having their feed. Study the carts, harnesses, drivers, whips, gestures, and the 
mules' ears and attitudes. 


state occasions by the flamens and the Vestals. There 
were the plaiistra, dray or work wagons ; the carrus, a big 
two-wheeled transport cart ; the petoritum, a baggage carrier. 
There was the carruca, a four-wheeled traveling carriage 
de luxe in which the passenger could sleep, not heard of before 
the first century after Christ. There were the war chariots 
and the farmers' carts, and there was the litter or sedan chair, 
lectica, in use for short distances in town and carried by 
polemen. The beasts that drew these vehicles were horses, 
mules, donkeys, and oxen. 

Sixthly, to return to comparisons in likeness, the pro- 
miscuous use of the ancient highway was accompanied by a 
government post service. This, like many other features 
of Roman life, existed in an undeveloped form at the time 
of the Republic, and was regulated and improved by the 

To insure the rapid transmission of dispatches there were 
stations called mutationes for the change of the horses ridden 
by the stratores, saddlemen, or couriers. For the carrying 
trade in money and goods of small compass, and for the 
passenger and freight traffic, there were stations equipped 
with horses and vehicles for change, and with supplies in 
general for the road. These places were called mansiones, 
waiting places. The employees in them included riders, 
drivers, conductors, doctors, and blacksmiths, especially 
wheelwrights. In a good day's journey, the traveler 
passed six or eight of these post stations, at each of which 
there were some forty beasts, with corresponding outfit of 
rolling stock and other supplies, and probably with con- 
veyances to hire on special demand. 

The affairs of the entire post system as developed in the 
Empire were under the control of a central office whose head, 
a vehiculiSj the general manager, was responsible to the 


emperor, and who had under him a number of inspectors 
called cwriosi cursus pitblici, division superintendents. 
From the fourth-century legislation on the post, it may be 
seen that tickets were sold, diplomata; that in the case of 
distinguished persons they might include lodging and meals, 
tractoria; that there were first- and second-class tickets ; that 
there were sleeping cars, carrucae; that there were fast and 
slow carriages ; that there were stopovers ; that passes were 
sometimes issued, good for one to five years or for the em- 
peror's life, and that there was a freight service, ordinary 
and express. There were even the familiar attempts to 
defraud : by using tickets or passes which had run out, by 
using tickets belonging to other parties, by misrepresenting 
the ages of children, by exceeding stopover rights. 

One feature of travel is missed by the modern reader in- 
terested in ancient movement. The subject of hotels is so 
rarely referred to that it is clear that the hostelries of antiq- 
uity were not the luxurious places of to-day. Men of rank 
depended on friends or business associates for lodging away 
from their own towns, this relation being so frequent that 
tokens of hospitality entitling the bearer to accommodations 
were used. Ordinary travelers went to the usual inn, 
which no doubt was not pleasant to persons of taste. Men 
might also travel with tent arrangements, especially in case 
of a long journey and a large retinue. 

The speed of ancient Roman travel on land may be esti- 
mated from Cicero's mention of the risium, the lightest 
and most rapid carriage, as making 56 miles in 10 hours. 
Horace's famous journey of 340 miles to Brundisium, about 
37 B.C., took 15 days, an average of 22f miles per day, with 
daily records of 10 to 36 miles ; but this was leisurely travel, 
part on muleback, part by carriage, and one night by canal, 
over occasional stretches of bad road at a speed sometimes 


described as "crawling/ 7 and before the Augustan reforms. 
To say that light travel could accomplish 60 to 75 miles on a 
spring or autumn twelve-hour day would probably be not 
far from the truth. 

Such were the general features of the Roman road and 
its life as they are known under the Empire. They were 
different only in detail under the Republic, and they differ 
only in detail from the life of the post road in after genera- 
tions up to the coming of the railroad. Any reader of 
Dickens will be able to see and hear in imagination on the 
roads leading to and from Rome much that has not survived 
in the formal evidence the drivers and postilions in livery, 
the cracking of whips and the rattle and thunder of hoof 
and wheel on the hard and not always smooth basaltic pave- 
ment, the gallant courier speeding by and disappearing over 
the hill, the sun lighting up the bright colors of the coach and 
glinting on its wheels, the grand arrival at the station, with 
station master and travelers and crowd of curious idlers 
waiting for the stage, the alighting of passengers to end the 
journey or to "stretch their legs," the hostlers unhitching 
and leading away the steaming horses, the bringing on of 
fresh animals, the settling of seats and baggage, the slamming 
of the doors, the mounting of some old Tony Weller and 
the guard to their high seats, the blare of the horn, the 
cracking of the whip and away ! 

The principal function of the Roman road was in travel 
movement. It served the aomy on the march, the emperor 
and his agents on their administrative errands, the man of 
affairs on his business missions, the commercial traveler 
making his rounds, the student going to Athens to finish his 
training, the rich man making the grand tour, the farmer 
driving to town, the neighbor going for a visit, the family 
out on a pleasure jaunt. Something should be said also of 


the Adriatic, 10 days ; from Africa, 20 days ; from Britain, 
26 days ; from Athens, 46. The time from Athens no doubt 
represents delay of some kind, and the variations in time 
from other places, as 1 to 4 days in the case of Arpinum, 
indicate that the means of transmission varied or that ac- 
cident interfered. 

To omit altogether the transportation of goods would be 
to miss much of the reality in our thought of Roman life. The 
routes of the Roman Empire by land and sea were alive with 
commercial movement. The roads that led to Rome from 
Gaul and Central Europe, or from the ports of Italy, whither 
came the goods from other distant lands, were thronged 
with laden carts and wagons and wagon trains. The sea 
paths that crisscrossed the Mediterranean between cities 
great and small were crowded by the single ships of traders, 
the laden argosies of the importer, the great grain fleets 
of the companies operating under Government, the heavy 
transport ships that carried cattle and troops, and the fishing 
fleets. The rivers of the Empire, the Rhine, the Danube, 
the Nile, the Tiber, were busy in their way. The big ships 
that in Augustus' time could no longer enter the Tiber be- 
cause of the silt, anchored off Ostia, where lighters received 
their cargoes and took them up the river to Rome. In the 
times of Claudius and Trajan, they made for the near-by 
harbors built by those emperors. There was not only the 
trade in grain and cattle and the fisheries ; there was the 
lumber trade, there were the mines in Spain and Central 
Europe, there were the thousand luxuries of diet and cloth- 
ing brought from the ends of the earth to Rome and the cities 
of the West, there was the salt trade, there were the red coral 
and sponge industries, there were the dyes and there was 
the trade in slaves. Nor should the desert routes of Africa 
and Asia be left out of the picture, with the great caravans 



bringing the spices and gold and ivory and woven splendors 
of the tropics and the far-away Orient. Three continents 
ministered to the needs of the Mediterranean Empire. 

The sea seemed all the busier because the ancient ships 
were small and numerous. The merchant ship, called 
"round" in distinction from the ''long" ship of war, might 
measure 200 by 50 feet, carry about 250 tons cargo, and be 

(From " Ben Hur") 

manned by sailors and oarsmen up to 200. The Vatican 
obelisk, which with its base weighed 500 tons, was brought 
from Egypt for the Circus of Caligula in a special ship whose 
ballast consisted of 800 tons of lentils, making a cargo of 
1300 tons, or displacement of about 3200 tons. If the entire 
cargo had been of wheat, there would have been about 
43,000 bushels. In Sicilian and South Italian waters, in 
Greek waters, and off the Nile and the Red Sea passage, 


where their lines converged, the grain fleets, the fishing 
fleets, and the navy squadrons must in times of special coin- 
cidence have seemed to cover the sea. At Corinth, a device 
for drawing warships and small freighters across the isthmus 
was in constant use, and the Nile Canal and Red Sea route, 
created by Darius and reconstructed by Trajan, was still 
navigated in A.D. 710. 

The ancient ship at best was slow and uncertain. It 
was sailed without a compass, and "kept to the stars." It 
was easily swept out of its course by storms, and was the more 
liable to wreck because its course was preferably from island 
to island or from point to point not distant from the land. 
The sailing season began in early spring, and movement on 
the sea was practically suspended in late autumn when the 
rough and frequently starless weather arrived. "The clear 
west winds will bring your Gyges back faithful to you at the 
first of spring rich with Bithynian merchandise," Horace 
consoles Asterie. "Forced to put in at Oricum after the 
raging stars of the Goat, he is passing cold and sleepless 
nights not without many tears." There were forty days of 
etesian winds in midsummer. A wind on the route to the 
Red Sea and India blew six months constantly in either direc- 
tion. With favoring breeze and the aid of oars, the trader 
made Crete from Egypt in 3 days, Sicily from Alexandria in 

6 or 7, Puteoli from Alexandria in 9, Tauromenium from 
Puteoli in 3, Rome from Tarraco in 4, Ostia from Gades in 

7 to 10, Carthage from Gibraltar in 7, Rome from Carthage 
in 3. 

Compared with twentieth-century conveniences and speed, 
it was a slow-moving and halting world. Its greatest speed 
on land was that of the man on a horse ; on the sea, the speed 
of a ship propelled by wind and oars. No man, no news 
could travel faster than this. There was no telegraph, no 


wireless ; there were no locomotives, no automobiles, no air- 
planes, no liners making 500 miles a day. The Roman 
governor traveled a little less than six weeks to reach the 
last Roman outpost in Nubia ; the English civil service man 
can reach the remotest parts of India from London in less 
than two weeks by land and sea, by air can almost annihilate 
the distance, and with the telegraph can communicate his 
orders in an hour. 

Yet it was neither an inexpert nor a backward world. 
It went as far as it could with the means it possessed, and 
the world that succeeded it did no better up to the time of 
our great grandfathers. Says Professor Westermann : "No 
additional force which was basically new could be evolved 
by the Roman Empire, Nor was any new force brought in 
until in recent times when steam, electricity, and gas were 
applied as motor forces to vehicles in the transport of goods." 

It may be added in conclusion that the long distances and 
the long time required to cover them does not necessarily 
mean that business was poorly done, or even slowly. All 
phases of civilization settle to their own natural ways, and 
have their relative standards. No doubt the ancients 
talked of being busy and of being hurried, much as the 
present age of swiftness talks. The streets of the capital 
and many other cities were crowded, and had their traffic 
rules restricting use in certain hours and areas. If business 
was slow, it was at least deliberate, and probably safer than 
that of a swifter age. If transportation and communication 
were much less prompt than now, there was a measure of 
compensation in the lack of the noise and nervous haste 
which shatter the nerves of men to-day and rob life of its 



"Justice is the steadfast and perpetual will to render to every 
man his right. Jurisprudence is the knowledge of things divine 
and human, the science of the right and the not-right. The pre- 
cepts of the law are these : to live honorably, to injure no other 
man, to render to every man his own." 

These are the opening sentences of the Institutes of Jus- 
tinian, a beginners' book for students of law, published on 
December 30, A.D. 533, as a part of the Emperor's great 
legal reform. The conclusions expressed by them, at the 
end of Rome's more than a thousand years of experience in 
the living and the studying of law, are the base on which 
all civilization rests. To us they seem commonplaces, and, 
happily, among enlightened peoples they are commonplaces. 
That they are, and that the world of ancient Roman times 
and the world of to-day possessed and possesses the means of 
translating them into life, is overwhelmingly due to the 
Roman steadfast and perpetual will to render to every man 
his right, and to Roman earnestness in pursuit of the science 
of the right and the not-right. 

We have seen the part played in the spread of Roman 
civilization and in the unification of the ancient world by 
the Roman road, the Roman army, the Roman navy, and 
.by commerce; but without the working of Roman law in 
the confirmation of conquest by regulation and reason, the 
amalgamation and assimilation that "made of one blood aF 



nations" would never have taken place. These facts, espe- 
cially the fact that large parts of our world to-day are still 
using the laws of Rome and are thus in that respect living 
still the life of Rome, are of such importance that if we wish 
to understand either ancient Rome or modern times we must 
pay some attention to the subject of Roman experience in 
the search for justice and the means of justice. 

"And so, 77 to use the words of Sextus Pomponius, author 
of a manual in Hadrian's time, "it seems to us necessary to 
set forth the beginnings of law itself and the course of its 
development." There need be no fear in this case that an 
historical account will be mere facts in chronological order. 
The life of Roman law was full of movement and adventure. 

"Indeed, when our State came into being," continues 
Pomponius, "the people began at first without law either 
in writing or in common custom, and everything was done 
with the king as leader and at his discretion." The his- 
torical sketch he then gives extends to the name of Salvius 
Julianus of his own time, and is the basis of every subsequent 
account of the rise of Roman law. 

We begin the story of the law, then, in prehistoric and 
even prelegendary times, when the chieftain or king in the 
Latin land embodies or represents the law, and when the 
law is unwritten and consists in common custom rather 
than in what is called legislation. This is hard to imagine, 
and we advance immediately to the time when the chieftain, 
with the aid of his councilors, seizes on the habitual acts 
and inclinations of the community and builds upon them the 
rules that make his control of the people easier and less un- 
stable. Use and custom are formalized and become the law, 
though recorded nowhere but in the minds of those who 
easily remember them because established by their own life 
and practice. 



When the laws begin to be written, the era of statutes has 
arrived. This is recorded as already occurring in the time 
of the Seven Kings. Romulus and the succeeding rulers, 
with the Roman people, are said to have created laws which, 
at first inscribed on tablets in the Forum, were finally 
gathered together and published by Gaius Papirius, under 


The pagan basilica had an influence on the early Christian church, also called 
basilica. This interior, if terminated by a semicircular apse, would have the church 

Tarquin the Proud or early in the Republic. The account, 
of their authorship by various kings belongs to legend, and 
the laws themselves were mostly concerned with religious, 

With the famous Twelve Tables, Roman law becomes 
historical. In 451-450 B.C., sixty years after the Republic 
began, a specially appointed Board of Ten, the Decemviri, 
composed the code of rules which Livy calls the fount of all 


public and private law, and which was held in reverence and 
not repealed until Justinian's code superseded every previ- 
ous law. The code of the Decemvirs consisted, first, of the 
approved laws hitherto in force, both those of statute and 
of custom; second, of contributions of their own to meet 
the need of the time ; and, third, of adaptations from the 
laws of Greece. The people in assembly voted on the code 
and it became their statute and was published for their use 
on twelve tablets of stone or bronze. The reasons for its 
compilation and publication were that the growth of the 
State in size and complexity called for a restatement of the 
laws, and that the common people demanded direct access 
to the laws in order to protect themselves against abuses 
by the ruling class. Hitherto, the expert knowledge of the 
law was confined largely to the board of pontifices at the 
head of the State religion, and to men of family in political 
life. So much of the law was involved with religion that the 
chief priests in the mastering of what concerned their office 
mastered the law as a whole, and, as long as it remained 
uncodified and unpublished, possessed it, whether they 
would or not, as in some sort a trade secret. 

But the Twelve Tables, even when published, were but 
a clumsy and imperfect instrument. They did not contain 
every detail of law, they were general rather than specific, 
they needed interpretation, and they left much, especially 
in the matter of procedure, to the magistrate and other 
parties to their administration. Most important of all, 
the society in which they functioned was constantly grow- 
ing and constantly changing. From the day of their enact- 
ment the Twelve Tables were in need of amplification, and 
the increase in the need of experts for the interpretation and 
application of the law outstripped by far the people's growth 
in familiarity with it. Let us consider now the manner in 


which the body of law was amplified, and the manner in 
which its use was facilitated. 

The sources of new law from the Twelve Tables to the first 
emperors were as follows. First, there was the lex proper, 
affecting all the people. This was an enactment proposed 
by a senatorial magistrate, such as the consul or the praetor, 
with the approval of the Senate, and passed by the people 
in the centuriate assembly. Second, there was the ple- 
bistitum, also called lex, prior to 287 B.C. affecting only 
plebeians. It was proposed by a plebeian magistrate, 
usually the tribune, with approval by the Senate, before the 
tribal assembly. The enactments of the tribal assembly 
were likely to concern private law, that is, the affairs of 
citizen with citizen ; the centuriate assembly legislated more 
on governmental and foreign relations. Third, there were 
ihe decrees or resolutions of the Senate. In theory, these 
were advisory only, and had no power to make or un- 
make a law ; in practice, they frequently had the force of 
law, especially in matters outside control by the law as it 

The three foregoing were direct sources. There were also 
three which were indirect. 

First, there were the praetor's edicts. The praetor was 
created in 366 B.C. to lighten the burden of the consul by 
assuming control of suits at law. In 242 B.C. a second 
praetor was created to relieve his colleague of the cases in 
which one party or both were alien. They were called the 
praetor urbanus and the praetor peregrine, the urban and 
the foreign. Their number was later multiplied, and their 
importance always great. The urban praetor especially 
was important to the growth of the law because of close and 
varied contact with the life of the citizen in Rome and Italy, 
and because of the power granted both praetors in 140 B.C. 


to correct or amplify the operation of the law in cases where 
its literal application caused injustice. The chief instru- 
ment by which his modifications of the law became a part 
of the law as a body was the praetor's edict. Any magis- 
trate could issue edicts, and many an uncertain situation was 
clarified by the act ; but the praetor's edictum perpetuum, the 
edict written on white tablets and posted in the Forum, an- 
nouncing at the beginning of his year of office the principles 
or precedents he would observe in decisions during his tenure, 
what old clauses in the law he would omit or alter, and what 
new ones he would add, was of greater consequence than 
others. There are two reasons why this was true. In the 
first place, it contributed greatly to the certainty and peace 
of mind of litigants for the year. In the second place, it 
actually made additions to the law, whose weaknesses it 
frequently remedied, and whose identity in the course of the 
years it substantially modified. With good right the prae- 
tor's edict was known as the "living voice of the law/ 7 viva 
vox iuris civilis. 

Second, there were the opinions delivered by the juris- 
consults. In time, the pontifices lost the distinction of 
being the only masters in the knowledge of the law. As 
the great public offices, including their own, came within the 
reach of plebeian candidates, and as the need of experts in- 
creased, the number of those who interested themselves 
in mastery of the law as incidental to career or with purpose 
to profit also increased. The class of professional jurists, 
ready to advise the magistrate or the party in a suit, came 
into being. Some of them published their learning, and 
became the first in a long line of brilliant writers on the law. 
Whether oral or written, their learning and their conclusions 
affected the praetor's thought and action, were manifest 
in his edicts, and thus with them came to affect the law, 


They affected the structure of the trial system as well. 
Their expertness in special fields was an encouragement to 
the establishment of the standing courts for special offenses 
that did so much for criminal law. 

Lastly, long-continued and universally approved custom 
might in the same indirect manner become embodied in the 

With the revolution that resulted in the Empire and its 
absolutism, there was added to the statutes, plebiscites, 
decrees of the Senate, praetor's edicts, and professional 
jurist's responses, the last of which became now a contribu- 
tion of greater dimensions than ever, one more very plentiful 
and important source of law. This was the constitutiones 
of the emperor, constitutions or enactments in various 
forms, all of which might find a permanent place in the 
statutes, though many did not. Their importance in the 
course of the law is realized when we remember that the 
decline of the republican law-making instrumentalities had 
gone so far by the third century that the emperor's right to 
make law was taken for granted, and by the fourth was the 
only source of legislation. The praetor's edicts had been 
edited into a final form, and nothing new could appear 
unless by imperial sanction. The Senate no longer exer-i 
cised the right to legislate allowed by Augustus and the 
earlier emperors, and was little more than an ordinary city 
council. The last statute enacted by the people in assembly 
dated from the time of Nerva. 

The constitutions or enactments took four forms. These 
were the edict, the decree, the rescript, the mandate. 

The edict was issued by the emperor in his capacity of 
magistrate, and differed from the praetorian edict in being 
valid for its author's life instead of one year, and for the 
whole Umpire instead of a part. At first corrective and 


supplementary of existing legislation, by Hadrian's time it 
could be the vehicle for entirely new law. 

The decree was a judicial decision of the emperor as magis- 
trate, or as he intervened in a case in answer to appeal or 
of his own motion. It was usually a decision on some point 
in existing law, for the purpose of clarification or for the 
correction of an injustice wrought by literal application of 
the law. Its use declined as the rescript came into use for 
the same purpose. 

The rescript was a letter to an inquiring official, such as 
Trajan's answer to Pliny's inquiry regarding the Christians, 
or an indorsement written on an application or petition and 
returned with it. At first explanatory of the law, with the 
praetor's loss of the power to initiate in the edict the rescript 
came into use as the vehicle of the emperor's sanction, now 
necessary to new rulings by the praetor. 

The mandate was usually an instruction to a provincial 
administrator, differing besides from the other three enact- 
ments as operative in the official's territory for the em- 
peror's life. 

As time went on, all four of the constitutiones were fre- 
quently referred to as leges, and distinctions between them 
were largely lost. 

To conclude without further mention of the Roman juris- 
tic writers this account of the sources which made the Roman 
law a living and changing organism constantly growing 
toward maturity, would be to slight the greatest source of 
all oxcept Roman living itself. The rise and perfection of 
juristic literature was a natural movement. The experts 
of the Republic who aided praetor and suitor and orator not 
only developed soon into a learned profession, but by reason 
of the demand for mastery in specific subjects and for clear 
and accurate statement in writing soon began to produce 


from their number the specialist and the author. From 
about the end of the fourth century before Christ, when the 
responses ceased to be the exclusive privilege of the pontifi- 
ces and aristocrats, for upwards of four hundred years the 
history of Roman letters and law is ornamented by impor- 
tant names. 

The recital of the chief of these names will in itself be in 
brief a history of the development both of law and of legal 
practice. It will show how it progressed not only from the 
general to the special and from the unsystematic to the 
organized, but also from the limited to the comprehensive, 
and from the particular to the universal. 

The line begins about 300 B.C. with Appius Claudius the 
Blind, or possibly his secretary Gnaeus Flavius, and the first 
publication of a court calendar, with the forms of bringing 
action. Tiberius Coruncanius, the first plebeian pontifex 
maximus, about 265 B.C., by offering the first public instruc- 
tion for parties at law and for students of the law, completed 
the process of making law a public possession. Aelius 
Paetus, consul in 198 B.C., wrote commentaries on the Twelve 
Tables in three parts: text and notes ; interpretation; forms 
of action or suit. A Cato, about 160 B.C., composed fifteen 
books on points of law and special cases. About 150 B.C., 
Marcus Junius Brutus published commentaries on the civil 
law, Fabius Fictor an exposition of the pontifical law, and 
Marcus Manilius a work on actions. Sempronius Tuditanus, 
consul in 129 B.C., wrote a special work on magistrates, and 
Marcus Junius Gracchanus, friend of Gaius Gracchus, wrote 
on constitutional and social history. 

The foregoing bring us to the golden age of jurisprudence. 
Quintus Mucius Scaevola the pontifex maximus, consul in 
95 B.C., to whom Cicero attached himself after the death of 
Scaevola the augur, remaining with hi perhaps up to his 


murder by proscription in 82 B.C., and whom Cicero called 
first of all ages and countries because of his abilities as ad- 
ministrator, orator, and jurist, published in eighteen books 
the first systematic presentation of the civil law. Sulla 
and his advisers, 88-78 B.C., in their criminal-court reforms, 
produced the first code in book form since the Twelve Tables- 
Lucius Cincius, of Cicero's time, wrote concerning the calen- 
dar, the assemblies, the consular powers, the office of juris- 
consult, and war, and made a glossary of ancient words. 
Servius Sulpicius, consul in 51 B.C., the friend of Cicero and 
author of the famous letter of consolation on the death of 
Cicero's daughter Tullia, published works on many special 
themes, such as dowries, the praetor's edict, and the Twelve 
Tables, and was a writer and teacher of great distinction. 
Trebatius Testa, famous as a pupil and correspondent 
of Cicero and a friend of Horace, wrote works called De 
Religionibus and De Iwe Civili, and was an adviser to 

The greater names of the Empire are Salvius Julianus, 
Sextus Pomponius, Gaius, Aemilius Papinianus, Domitius 
Ulpianus, Julius Paulus, and Herennius Modestinus. The 
great work of Julianus, born in Africa and holding office 
under Hadrian and Antoninus Pius, was his digest of the 
praetorian edicts, so important that the Digest of Justinian 
quotes it upwards of five hundred times. Pomponius, under 
Antoninus Pius, wrote the short history of Roman law men* 
tioned at the beginning of this chapter. The contribution 
of Gaius, living in the times of Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, and 
Marcus Aurelius, was the Institutes, a very human treatise 
discovered in 1816 in Verona written on a parchment which 
served afterward for the letters of Jerome and had served 
previously for a work on theology. Its four books dealt 
with : law and its sources in the author's own times ; the 



law in relation to persons, slave and free ; the law in rela- 
tion to things, divine and human, corporeal and non- 
corporeal ; heredity ; and processes. Papinian, praetorian 

pre ,ct, or supreme judge, 
under Septimius Severus 
and murdered in Caracalla's 
reign, wrote 37 books of 
Quaestiones, or Cases, 19 
books of responses, 2 books 
of definitions, and 2 treatises 
on adultery, was admired 
for both learning and form, 
and was quoted by the 
Digest of Justinian in 596 
extracts. Ulpian of Tyre, 
a pupil of Papinian, and 
meeting the same fate, was 
praetorian prefect and ad- 
viser to Emperor Alexander 
Severus, and the author of 
works on the edict and civil 
law, a collection of regu- 
lae, or rules, and numerous 
other treatises. The Digest 
of Justinian owed 2,462 
extracts to Ulpian, or one 
third of its total content 
in pages. Julius Paulus, of 
Padua, also a pupil of Pa- 
pinian, and like hi ambitious to cover the whole field of 
law, wrote 86 works in 319 books, and 2,083 extracts from 
him compose one sixth of the Digest. His most celebrated 
work was on the edict. Modestinus, the last of the im- 

This was the fourth of the Five Good 
Emperors Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian. An- 
toninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. Their 
period was important in the history of 
the law. 


portant jurists, was a pupil of Papinian and Ulpian, and a 
member of the advisory council of Alexander Severus. 
From his works, including one on Excusationes, there were 
345 excerpts. 

Such is a list of the greatest juridical authorities, both the 
unofficial under the Republic and the appointees of the 
throne in imperial times. Besides their enormous influence 
as investigators, interpreters, compilers, editors, teachers, 
and practical advisers, from the time of Hadrian, who ruled 
that the opinions of authorized jurists, if unanimous, should 
have the force of law, they became creators. In the year 
426 their power was confirmed, and increased still more by 
the Law of Citations, drafted under Theodosius II, which 
established the authority of Gaius, Papinian, Ulpian, Paul, 
and Modestinus, and ruled that on any point a majority 
opinion of the five was to be decisive ; that, in case of only 
an even number containing opinions on the point at issue 
and being tied, the opinion of Papinian was to decide ; and 
that, in case his opinion was lacking in the tie, the magis- 
trate was to decide for himself in the ancient style. This 
law, by making decisions to some degree mechanical, must 
have detracted somewhat from the earnestness and original- 
ity of the legal profession. 

One century later occurred the ultimate and the greatest 
usefulness of the jurists, when excerpts from the works of 
thirty-nine of them, beginning with Quintus Mucius Scaevola, 
consul in 95 B.C., and ending with writers of about A.D. 300 
went into the making of the Pandects or Digest of Justin- 
ian, the restatement finished in A.D. 529 and published 
with the force of law on December 30, A.D. 533. Twelve 
of these thirty-nine sources compose eleven twelfths of the 
Digest, the chief of them being Ulpian and Paul, Papinian, 
Gaius, and Modestinus ; Ulpian and Paul together furnish- 


ing three fifths of the whole work. Justinian's Institutes, of 
the same date and effect, was a students' treatise containing 
large amounts of material from the Institutes of Gaius and 
from Ulpian and others. 

The great legal reform of Justinian consisted of four parts, 
viz. : 1. The Institutes, A.D. 533 ; 2. the Digest, 533 ; 3. the 
Codex, a compilation of the code of Theodosius, A.D. 438, 
two previous imperial codes, and the imperial laws since 
438, published April 16, 529, and in revision on December 
29, 534 ; 4. the Novellae or Novels, his more recent, supple- 
mentary laws. The compilation published in 533 and 534 
constitutes what is usually called to-day the Corpus luris 
Civilis or Code of Justinian, the great body of Roman law 
which is still the instrument of civilization in large parts 
of the Western world, and consequently our most direct 
connection with antiquity. 

It will lend reality to Justinian's enterprise and to the 
subject of Roman law in general if we listen to an account of 
the Code by an American lawyer. Professor William Her- 
bert Page, of the University of Wisconsin School of Law and 
the American Institute of Law, in an unpublished address 
entitled The Restatement of the Law, comments as follows on 
Justinian's restatement : 

"Probably there was no period of history in which there was as 
much powerful, fine, constructive juristic work as under the early 

"The growing despotism of the emperors finally crushed it out. 
Juristic writing virtually ceases about the middle of the third 
century. The emperor then was deciding questions of law ; and 
his rescripta principis took the place of the responsa of the great 
jurists as fax as bureaucratic despotism can take the place of free 
individualism. By the end of the third century, the right of giv- 
ing official responsa ends. The natural growth and development 
of law is dead. Only imperial legislation keeps on. 


"Almost three hundred years later, a barbarian, perhaps a Slav, 
came to the throne of the Eastern Empire ; a Roman Empire from 
which Italy and the West had been torn by the barbarians. Per- 
haps he translated his Slavic name, Uprauda, into the name by 
which he is known to fame, Justinian. He is somewhat vaguely 
known to the person of miscellaneous reading as the man who 
wrote the Roman law. What he did was to make a restatement 
of it in his own way. 

"The problem which confronted him was this. Roman law had 
ceased to grow. It was decaying ; and likely to be lost forever. 
There were some two thousand volumes of it : the responsa, the 
commentaries, and the general works on the subject. The lawyers 
complained of its bulk. No library was anywhere near complete. 
The sudden eclipse of juristic writing had left unsolved a number 
of questions ; on some of which the ancient authorities wore sharply 
at variance. Was it not possible to get the law into a shape in which 
it could be used readily? The vigorous barbarian dospot, full of 
plans for a great reconquest and revival of the Empire, had but 
one answer to this. The job was to be done, and right promptly. 
First, the ius novum, the imperial legislation, was brought together 
into a sort of Revised Statutes. This was the so-called Code. Ten 
commissioners, with plenty of assistance, no doubt, did this in 
fourteen months, A.D. 529. 

" His Majesty then moved on to attack the ius vetus, the writings 
of the great jurists, where the wisdom of the ages lay embalmed, 
with the doubts of the centuries. 

"First for the doubts. Justinian had his experts work out the 
most serious points in dispute. There happened to be fifty of 
them. Being an autocrat, he settled these qmnquaginfa quaes- 
tiones by his quinquaginta decisiones. He then took up the most 
striking cases in which the law, which had stopped two centuries 
before, now failed to fit the conditions of his time. Here, too, a 
series of imperial constitutions brought the law up to date, sharply 
and promptly, if not always scientifically. 

"He then appointed an imperial commission; Tribonian at its 
head, four law professors, and eleven practitioners, to revise the 
ius vetus, and to do it quickly. 

"The result seems queer enough to our eyes, for we expect some 
kind of outline and system based on the nature of the different 


legal rights and their relation to one another This did not seem 
at all necessary to the Roman lawyer. Long before, each praetor 
had made his own statement of the law, on taking office, declaring 
in advance how he would decide cases. He generally followed 
the statement of his predecessor, adding from time to time as omis- 
sions became evident. This was the praetor's edict. The order 
of topics was thus purely accidental. The Roman lawyers were 
used to this haphazard arrangement; commentaries were often 
based upon this edict. What more natural than to use the same 
traditional, unsystematic, unscientific succession of topics in the 
new collection of old law? 

"But it was worse than that. Working under pressure, the 
commissioners split up into committees, and worked through their 
various sources. Then apparently, under each topic, the work of 
the different committees followed in order, without the least 
attempt to get together the statements of law in any arrangement 
based upon the nature of the topic itself. 

"The copyists, under instructions, copied extracts from the 
writings of the earlier jurists. Those extracts were revised in the 
light of the quinguaginfa dedsiones and of the other imperial con- 
stitutions. Over nine thousand of them were selected, and each 
tagged with the name of its author and a reference to the book 
from which it was copied ; and they were then put together, with 
the lack of system which I have described ; and thus, A.D. 533, 
was made the great Digest or Pandects. 

"Its acceptance was assured by another imperial edict, which 
made it the law, repealed all law contrary thereto, forbade any 
citation of any other writings of the jurists, even by way of illus- 
tration, and even forbade any commentaries to be made upon the 
Digest itself. 

"A rough enough job, done at high speed, with the Byzantine 
equivalent for scissors and paste, giving us only pitiful fragments 
of the work of the great jurists of the classical period ; yet saving 
for us almost all of their writings that have been saved; itself 
being preserved by the merest chance, rising from its tomb to be 
the center of the intellectual life of the Western barbarians as they 
turned to study the culture of the past, and finally to displace the 
laws of the West, save only where the English law was entrenched 
in the mingled learning and obstinacy of tjig, Islanders/' 


Professor Page's wards are the more interesting because 
he is taking part in a repeating of history. Like the Roman 
law when Justinian came to the throne, American law is 
becoming unmanageable, and needs a restatement. Not 
all the great bulk of our law is in the regular statute books. 
In an age of inventions and innovations, the courts are 
constantly confronted with new problems, and "law must 
answer every question that life puts to it. It will not do 
for the courts to say: 'We do not know. This is a new 
question. There is no law on it. We can do nothing.' If 
there are no rules on the subject, the courts must make them 
up, then and there, and give the best solution they can. 
That is the way in which law grows ; and if it cannot do this, 
it does not grow. Law, as it grows in this way, is found in 
the writings of those who technically know the law." 

The answer of the court to a new question constitutes a 
precedent, and precedents in the American courts are of 
great importance. There are at present some ten thousand 
volumes containing the reports of perhaps a million ad- 
judicated cases, in which there lies more or less hidden a vast 
amount of potential law by precedent. The courts are the 
jurisconsults and praetors of to-day, and their precedents are 
the jurisconsults' responses and the praetors' edicts of ancient 
times ; only, after the fact and not conveniently posted. 

The law these precedents represent must be made acces- 
sible. The American Law Institute, composed of 813 judges, 
lawyers, and professors of law, with 33 members acting as 
Council, is engaged in the solution of this problem. The 
result will be the restatement of the law in a series of con- 
venient volumes, one for each special topic, as contracts, 
agency, torts, which will get their authority from the process 
of their creation together with the approval of bench and 
bar as they are used. 


Let us conclude with a few observations as to some notable 
features in Rome's thousand and more years of experience 
with the making of law. 

First, the law-making of Rome was the work of no one 
man or group of men, but was the product of community 
life from its beginning in a society of the humblest fashion 
and on the lowest scale to its end in a highly sophisticated 
State. The Empire did great things in the law, but, as far 
as human living was concerned as a factor, the experience 
was complete before the absolute regime arrived. 

Second, the difficulties met by Roman law-making were 
those belonging to a society in which the people ruled them- 
selves and were their own teachers. They were problems to 
be solved by experimentation in the laboratory of human 
life. There was the problem of the disassociation of the 
divine and human, which are always mingled and confused m 
primitive society ; that is, the secularization of law. There 
was the problem, always hard and never quite solved in any 
society, of distinguishing between sin and crime, and between 
crime and wrong. There was the problem of determining 
what was really injurious, and the problem of deciding on the 
punishment that was beneficial. There was the problem of 
the death penalty. There was the problem of how far to 
leave the settlement of personal grievance to private retal- 
iation or revenge. There was the problem of separating 
politics from law. There was the problem of system. 

Third, the perfection of the working of Roman law re- 
quired the autocracy. The principle of autocracy is the 
unresponsible possession and exercise of authority by one 
man. If he is a capable man and a conscientious man, the 
result will be expert government and the welfare of the people 
in all except the encouragement of the active qualities of 
citizenship. If he is incapable or bad. the result will be the 


Once the Roman State had reached the limit of its expan- 
sion, the border became as nearly a definite and immovable 
line as nature and man could establish. Desert, mountains, 
rivers, ocean, and seas were nature's contribution ; the con* 
tribution of man was the art of defense. 

Of the defenses afforded by nature, only the ocean could 
be regarded as final ; beyond it and on it were no foes. But 
beyond the Rhine and the Danube, beyond the Two Rivers 
in the remote East, and beyond the North Sea and the Black 
Sea and the Red, there were ever watchful and sometimes 
dangerous enemies. The defense afforded by river and sea 
had to be supplemented by fleet and fort; their waters 
could invite attack as well as repel it. 

The desert was like the sea. Across its uninhabited 
wastes of sand and rock might come at any time the mobile 
hordes of nomad barbarians in the South or the armies of 
ancient kingdoms in the East. As for the mountain bar- 
rier, it had its passes to be defended. 

Where neither mountain nor desert nor water lent its aid, 
where the border ran through fertile populated country or 
through the forest wilderness, no foot of the line was left 
unguarded, and the Roman wall and ditch marked the legal 
limit. Where neither nature nor art could be made to suffice, 
as on the eastern border in Asia, diplomacy and the buffer 
state supplied the lack. 




During the four hundred years that elapsed from Augustus 
to Alaric, it was only at the periphery of the Empire that the 
military and naval arms of the Government were actively 
employed ; and actual war even there was but the episode 
in the long stretches of peace during which the legions ir 
their camp cities wore away the quiet years of semicivic 
garrison life. The visible presence of power in wall and fort 
and men and equipment, with its occasional demonstration 
in prompt and vigorous action, safeguarded the Roman 
world in the ways of the Pax Romana. In the vast area 
covered by modern Europe's battling nations, where war 
and not peace is always a vivid possibility, the tread of armies 
and the wash of the oar were rarely heard save on the 
errands of peace. 

Roman Africa began its history in 146 B.C., with the 
destruction of Carthage and the annexation of the neighbor- 
ing regions, but at the end of two hundred years had come 
to include the entire north coast of the continent from 
Carthage to the Libyan desert on the east and to the At- 
lantic Ocean outside Gibraltar on the west. It thus com- 
prised the provinces of the two Mauretanias, with capitals 
at Tingis and Caesarea, represented to-day by Morocco and 
its best-known city, Tangier, and Algeria, with the city of 
Cherchell, a little west of Algiers ; the province of Numidia, 
with its capital, Cirta, equivalent to eastern Algeria to-day 
and Constantine; the province of Africa, with its capital, 
Carthage, equivalent to Tunisia and Tunis ; and the strip 
which bordered the Lesser and Greater Syrtes, including 
Tripolitania and the Cyrenaica of to-day, with the ruined 
ancient towns of Sabrata, Oea, Leptis, and Gyrene, and the 
modern towns of Tripoli, Benghazi, and Cyrene. 

In a word, Roman Africa in the time of Claudius was 
roughly the equivalent of the Barbary States, which to-day as 


Italian, French, and Spanish territorial spheres have largely 
lost their Berber identity ; or, still more simply, it was the 
south shore of the Mediterranean from the Atlantic to the 
confines of Egypt, a fertile strip or fringe of 2,000 miles be- 
tween desert and sea, with an average width of little more 
than 125 miles, the distance from the coast to Timgad at the 
Sahara's edge. 

This far-extended strip occupied by Rome was everywhere 
backed by the great African desert. From the Pillars of 
Hercules to Carthage, the formation was much the same: 
first, a narrow fringe of great fertility at the shore, sometimes, 
as at Algiers, greatly resembling the European shore ; sec- 
ond, the parallel band of the mountains, consisting of the 
Tell Atlas on the north and the Sahara Atlas on the south, 
with broad depressions between ; third, the descent into the 
desert levels of the Sahara. From Carthage eastward, the 
fringe at the shore was narrower, the mountains less promi- 
nent, and the desert more immediate. The climate was 
semitropical, with a two months' rainy season and a long 
period of dryness and heat. With the aid of elaborate 
irrigation, the coastal slopes and valleys, especially the 
exuberant soil near Carthage and in parts of Numidia, were 
rich in grain and oil and wine, the date, and other fruits. 
Besides these products of the soil, there were dyes and 
sponges from the sea, porphyry and onyx from Mauretania, 
the creamy giallo antico and the richly mottled africano from 
the marble mines of Numidia, and, from the desert and the 
reaches beyond, the camel cargoes of ebony, ivory, and gold, 
the lions and elephants of the amusement trade, and the 
negro slave. 

Carthage and Numidia, the richer, nearer, more civilized, 
aad more accessible parts of Roman Africa, were the base 
from which the province was founded, settled, and governed. 



A colony of six thousand Italians, sent by Gaius Gracchus in 
122 B.C. to replace Carthage as Junonia, soon declined. A 
second settlement, in 35 B.C., was renewed by Augustus and 
became in about 16 B.C. a colony with the Roman franchise, 

This was Roman Theveste. The temple is now & museum. 

and the residence of the proconsul of Africa. Cirta, the 
capital of Nuinidia, high on its inaccessible thousand-foot 
rock fifty miles inland, and rich in the memories of Syphax, 
Masinissa, Micipsa, Jugurtha, and Juba, the native princes 
who opposed Rome from Scipio Africanus to Marius, in 


the second century before Christ, became a colony first 
under Julius Caesar, to be firmly established by Augustus. 
Caesarea, now Cherchell, 340 miles west of Cirta and 50 
west of Algiers, and Tingis, modern Tangier, 500 miles 
farther west, were made colonies under Claudius, and be- 
came the two capitals of Eastern and Western Mauretania* 
The civilization of the four provinces thus formed was less 
advanced as the distance from Carthage increased ; Maure- 
tania Tingitana was little removed from barbarism. East 
of Carthage, Gyrene, formally added to Roman territory in 
46 B.C. after the battle of Tbapsus, was a Greek foundation 
already six centuries old. 

Of the ancient inhabitants of Roman Africa, the basic 
stratum was the original prehistoric stock known throughout 
history as Berber. The next stratum was brought by the 
Phoenician invasion which resulted in the founding of 
Carthage and eventually the Punic control of the whole 
coast, southern Spain, and a part of Sicily. The third 
stratum was the Roman occupation just described. 

A traveler in Africa in the time of Trajan or Hadrian 
would have found there many thriving cities with Roman 
architecture, Roman amusements, Roman religion, and 
Roman customs in general predominant but not universal. 
In these cities, and in the large villas near them, and on the 
large estates or plantations farther removed, he would have 
found the Roman ruling class, the Roman bankers, specu- 
lators, and traders, and the Roman landowners. He would 
have found among these gentry few of the Roman nobility, 
but a great many middle-class people either directly come 
from Italy or descended from the veterans who formed the 
first Italian settlers. Next, the traveler would have noticed 
the Punicized character of a great part of the country : the 
Punic language and the Punic accent of the Latin; the 



Punic dress with its turbans and gowns; the temples to 
Baal and Astarte and the half Roman and half Punic worship 
in many temples ; the Punic control of a great deal of trade, 
especially the small trade and the trade of small towns ; the 
scents and colors of the bazaars in which were exposed the 


This little oasis town, in the Sahara near its northern border, is kept in order by 
an agent of the French Republic, as towns in the far corners of civilization were by 
the administrators of the Roman Empire. 

perfumes and spices and rugs of the East and the wares of 
the Punic handicraftsmen ; the Punic shipping in the har- 
bors. In the country districts, he would have found that 
the sT^ftll fanners and shepherds and the nonslave portion of 
the workers on the Roman large estates also were of the 
Punic stock. The smaller the towns, and the more remote 


the farms, the fewer Romans he would have found. By this 
time he would have been conscious of the basic stock of all, 
the Berber, or African, or Libyan. Rare in the large cities 
and confined to the poorer quarters, in the villages and in the 
country these native inhabitants, gowned in rough material 
and speaking a language separate from both Latin and 
Punic, formed a larger part of the population ; in the remoter, 
rougher, and desert regions, with their camels and horses and 
flocks they were the ancient nomads, as shifting, and as 
eternal, as the shifting desert sands. 

The government of Roman Africa was chiefly in the hands 
of four men : the proconsul at Carthage, appointed by the 
Roman Senate for one year ; the praetorian legate at Cirta, 
holding command of Numidia as long as the emperor pleased ; 
and the procurators at Caesarea and Tingis, the two capitals 
of Mauretania. Tinder them were the various officials and 
secretaries necessary to the administration of the imperial 
finances and other provincial business. The management 
of more purely local interests was left in large measure to the 
individual town, at whose head were the duoviri, or board of 
two, and the decuriones, or council. 

All this, which is based on the evidence left from Roman 
times, to the modern traveler in Africa sounds much as if 
written of the same lands to-day. In the French protector- 
ate of Tunisia, established 49 years ago, with its population 
of 2,159,000 in 1926, there are 173,000 Europeans, of whom 
the French number 71,000, and the Italians, 89,000. If the 
173,000 Europeans are thought of as a parallel to the ancient 
Romans, the remaining 1,986,000, who are composed mostly 
of Arabs and Bedouins, are to be thought of as the ancient 
Punic population and the original Berber stock. Further, 
in the modern capital, Tunis, there are 72,000 French and 
Italians, and about 1] 4,000 Arabs and Berbers, the last form- 


ing but a small part. That is, in Tunisia at large there is 
about 1 European to 12 Arabs and Berbers ; in the capital, 
there is 1 European to about 1 Arabs and Berbers, the 
latter hardly counting. In Algeria at large, now for one 
century a protectorate, the proportion is 1 to 7 ; in Algiers, 
1 to 4. There is no certainty regarding the proportions in 
antiquity, but we shall not be far wrong in taking the modern 
figures as a rough statement of the relative distribution of the 
ancient Roman, Punic, and native stocks in country and city. 
The noting of other details will help still further in the 
understanding of Roman conditions. In the French resident- 
general is to be seen the modern form of the proconsul of 
Africa. The European population is predominantly mid- 
dle class, and composed of official and commercial groups. 
The Arab majority is disturbed as little as possible in its 
laws, religion, and manners. The Berber farmers and 
nomads away from the cities and out in the semidesert 
wastes are hardly touched by the culture of Europe. It is 
interesting to learn that the French highway and railroad are 
a chief means of development and consolidation, and that 
the country is held by comparatively small garrisons in few 
posts. It may be observed that agriculture is the chief 
industry; that the grain acreage of Algeria and Tunis is 
about 9,000,000 and that of Italy more than 12,000,000; 
that the wine product of Algeria and Tunis is 237,500,000 
gallons, and that of Italy, 750,000,000 ; and that the French 
are taking lessons from the ancient Romans in their con- 
servation of water in tanks and reservoirs for use in the dry 
season. It is also true that one reason for the development 
of Tripolitania and Cyrenaica, or Italian Africa, is the 
crowding and poverty of parts of Italy, just as the crowding 
and poverty of ancient Rome was a reason for the coloniza- 
tion of Africa. 



But both population and products of Roman Africa must 
have greatly exceeded those of to-day. The indirect 
evidence of literature alone would warrant this conclusion. 
The power of Carthage, reduced by Rome in three wars 
between 265 B.C. and 146 B.C., was based on a well-developed 
and wealthy civilization. The Africa of the Empire was not 


The buildings at present on the hill are chiefly the Cathedral of St. Louis, the 
Seminary of the Peres Blancs, or White Fathers, and the Muse Lavigerie, named 
from the French cardinal who founded it in 1875. The ruins of Punic, Roman, and 
Byzantine Carthage are abundant in both museum and landscape. 

only a chief granary of Rome and the source of much of the 
capital's distinction in beautiful building material, but came 
to have so rich an individuality as to contribute to the Em- 
pire in less material ways. Six emperors came out of Africa : 
Pertinax, Septimius Severus, Alexander Severus, Macrinus, 
Vibius Gallus, and Volusianus. Fronto, famous as rheto- 
rician, man of letters, and beloved tutor of the young Mar- 
ous Aurelius, came from Cirta. Caecilius Nat alls, who 


speaks for paganism in the Octavius of Minucius Felix, was 
probably a triumvir of Cirta. Sicca, a hundred and twenty- 
five miles southward of Carthage, produced Eutychius Pro- 
culus, another teacher of Marcus Aurelius, and a medical 
writer named Caelius Aurelianus. Symmachus, orator and 
writer of letters, one of the last defenders of paganism at 
Rome, came from Carthage. Priscian, the of 
the fifth century, came from Caesarea. Perhaps the best 
known of all the literary Africans is Apuleius of Madaura, 
not far west of Carthage, author of the Metamorphoses, in 
which is preserved the most delightful of stories, Cupid and 

Of Christian writers, leaders, and martyrs, Africa pro- 
duced a brilliant galaxy, most of them belonging to the 
second and third centuries and to Carthage. First to be- 
come famous was Tertullian, of Carthage, about A.D. 160- 
230, the vehement defender of Christianity and assailant of 
its foes, who finally was himself carried away by heresy. 
There was Cyprian, bishop of Carthage in 248 or 249, 
martyred in 258. There were Arnobius, about 300, a con- 
verted pagan from Cirta, who like Tertullian took the offen- 
sive against paganism, and his pupil Lactantius, about 
250-330, sometimes called the Christian Cicero because of 
his humanism. Greatest of all was Augustine, 354-430, 
born at Thagaste near Madaura, the home of Apuleius; 
teacher of rhetoric in Carthage, Rome, and Milan ; priest, 
and bishop of Hippo ; author of the famous Confessions and 
The City of God. 

We need not depend, however, upon the indirect evidence 
of history and letters. The most eloquent witnesses to the 
prosperity and even splendor of Roman Africa are its ruins. 
Their number and importance are always the surprise of the 


The most superficial visit to Roman Africa requires a 
fortnight. If Tripolitania and the Cyrenaica are included, 
longer time is necessary. From Naples to Tunis, with 
stops at Palermo and Trapani, the ancient Drepanum of 
Virgilian fame, takes about thirty-six hours. The hill of 
Carthage, the Byrsa or citadel, is on the right as the ship 
enters the gulf of Tunis. From Tunis, a city of one hundred 
and seventy-five thousand, the electric train quickly reaches 
the station of Carthage, ten miles away. Here by the shore, on 
plain and hill and on the high Byrsa, are the remnants of the 
Roman town which succeeded to what Polybius called the 
wealthiest city of the world, the city said by tradition to have 
been founded by Dido the refugee from Tyre and hostess of 
Aeneas and the Trojans. They include the ruins of the 
admiralty and the harbors, gigantic baths, the theater, the 
amphitheater, in which is a memorial cross of Saints Per- 
petua and Felicitas, martyred in 203, tombs in great num- 
bers from both Punic and Roman times, reservoirs and roads, 
temple foundations, and the wonderful collection of Punic 
and Roman remains in the museum on the Byrsa named after 
Cardinal Lavigerie, founder of the monastery of the Pres 
Blancs which contains it. In the environs of Tunis is the 
Bardo, the greatest of the African museums, in which are to 
be seen the famous bronzes recovered in 1907 from the 
bottom of the sea, where a cargo of them sank in ancient 
times, a great display of the mosaics for which African villas 
were noted, and the celebrated mosaic portrait of Virgil 
writing the Aeneid, from Susa, or Hadrumetum. Not far to 
the south of Tunis are the ruins, 66 feet high, of the 50 miles 
of aqueduct capable of supplying ancient Carthage with 
water at the rate of 6,000,000 gallons daily. In 1925, the 
excavations of Professor F. W. Kelsey of Michigan and 
Count Khun de Prorok at the west side of the commercial 



harbor of ancient Carthage revealed 1,100 cinerary urns, 300 
altar-shaped and shrine-shaped monuments, and many 
dedications. All were in the temple area of the goddess 
Tanit, and Professor Kelsey suspected that the children's 
ashes contained in most of the urns represented the sacrifice 
by fire with which the Carthaginians were charged. 


Twenty-one miles to the northwest of Tunis are the ruins 
of Utica, where Cato took his life after the defeat by Caesar 
in 46 B.C. at Thapsus. Forty-one miles to the southwest, up 
the valley of the Medjerda, the ancient Bagrada, are the 
sightly remains of Dougga, ancient Thugga: theater, 
temples, Roman and Punic tombs, prehistoric dolmens, on 
a height 1,970 feet above the sea, and among the best pre- 
served in Africa. 


Susa, or Hadrumetum, reached by train ninety-three miles 
south of Carthage on the coast, with a fine museum of Roman 
remains, is the port from which Hannibal left his native land 
after Zama. Beyond it thirty miles are the cisterns, amphi- 
theater, tombs, and quay representing Thapsus. Mehdia, 
near which the shipload of statuary above referred to was 
found, is ten miles farther on. At Sbeitla, a hundred and 
twelve miles from Susa to the southwest, are the beautiful 
Capitol and the triumphal arch of Constantine preserved 
from ancient Sufetula. Forty miles south of Susa near 
the coast is El Djem, once Thysdrus, now a little village 
rendered inconspicuous by the gigantic Roman amphi- 
theater, among the largest in existence. Near by are 
extensive ruins of baths, reservoirs, a circus, and a smaller 
and older amphitheater. Farther south a hundred and 
thirty miles are Gabes, once Roman Tacape, and the island 
of Djerba, thought to be Homer's land of the lotus-eaters. 
From this place, called Meninx, came the Emperors Vibius 
Gallus and Volusianus, A.D. 251-253. 

A voyage of five hundred and forty-four miles by sea from 
Tunis brings one to Tripoli, the ancient Oea, where Apuleius 
met and married the widow and was charged with magic. 
The name Tripoli is descended from Tripolis, meaning " three 
cities," the name given by the ancient Sicilian traders to the 
towns Oea, Leptis Magna, and Sabratha. They were the 
means of communication between the riches of the Sudan and 
the ports of Carthage, Sicily, and Italy. From here came 
the Emperors Septimius and Alexander Severus, the latter 
of whom is said to have learned Latin only after going to 
Rome, and always to have retained an accent. Tripoli con- 
tains a grand triumphal arch in honor of Marcus Aurelius 
and Lucius Verus. Since the Italian occupation of Tripoli- 
tania in 1911, the Italian Directorate of Fine Arts has 


lestored this arch, founded an important museum, and 
carried on the excavation of Sabratha and Leptis Magna. 
Sabratha was the birthplace of Vespasian's empress, Domi- 
tilla, and the scene of Lucius Apuleius 7 trial before the 
Proconsul Claudius Maximus in A.D. 157. Among the 
monuments to be seen now where a few years ago everything 
was buried in the sands are the amphitheater, the foundations 
of the Capitolium with a colossal bust of Jupiter, a bathing 
establishment, and many inscriptions. At Leptis, there 
have come to light, from the forty feet of sand in which the 
ages have safely kept them enveloped, numerous excellent 
triumphal reliefs and statues, baths, a vast basilica, harbor 
works, and an arch of Septimius Severus. The city was 
twice the size of Pompeii, and its abundant stone and marble 
ruins in the grand style have been preserved in a wonderful 
freshness and splendor. 

Gyrene, a long distance east of Tripoli, is another scene of 
recent Italian achievement Here, in 1911, a downpour of 
rain, loosening a bank of earth, disclosed the Venus of 
Gyrene, now in the National Museum at Rome, one of the 
most important sculpture discoveries of recent times. 

Thus far we have been enumerating sites near Carthage 
and farther east. The important sites to its west are chiefly 
Le Kef, ancient Sicca Veneria; Bulla Regia; Tebessa, 
ancient Theveste; Thibilis; Constantine, ancient Cirta: 
Lambaesis ; Timgad ; Cherchell ; and Tangier. There are 
few ancient remains at Le Kef, thougji it was famed for its 
worship of Astarte and was of much strategic importance 
both in Roman antiquity and in the wars of the French 
occupation and, before that, the wars between the beys of 
Tunis and Algeria. Bulla Regia, a hundred miles west of 
Carthage, was the scene of a battle in 203 B.C. between 
Scipio and the Carthaginians under Syphax and HasdrubaL 


Its deserted site is rich in the ruins of a city equipped with 
every means of comfort and culture. About fifty miles 
farther west and a hundred and fifty-four miles from Tunis ? 
at Souk-Ahras, was ancient Thagaste, the birthplace in 
A.D. 354 of the great churchman, Aurelius Augustinus, Saint 
Augustine. Like Bulla Regia, it is at about two thousand 
feet elevation. South of it about seventeen miles is Ma- 
daura, the native city of Apuleius, and sixty-three miles 
farther south is ancient Theveste, marked by a fine arch of 
Caracalla, an almost perfectly preserved temple of Minerva, 
now a museum, and an imposing early Christian basilica. 
Hammam-Meskoutine, sixty-four miles west of Souk- 
Ahras, is now and was in Roman times a sulphur bath resort, 
Two or three hours 7 walk to the southwest, through pleasant, 
rolling uplands, leads to ancient Thibilis, on a hill at twenty- 
three hundred feet elevation, an entire town laid bare by 
excavation in 1905 and following years. A visit to these 
thoroughly excavated though not especially important ruins 
is an excursion long to be remembered for archaeological and 
natural charm. 

Constantine, the ancient Numidian and Roman Cirta, 
whose modern name goes back to the Emperor Constantine, 
is a city of about 60,000, surpassed in Algeria only by 
Algiers and Oran. Situated on a rock twenty-one hundred 
feet high, from the times of Masinissa and Syphax until 
its capture by the French in 1837 Cirta has been an impor- 
tant stronghold. The present bridge, four hundred and 
seven feet above the Rhumel gorge, overhangs the ruins of 
the Roman bridge. There are also remnants of the ancient 
aqueduct and reservoirs. It was in Cirta that Sophonisba, 
the sister of Hasdrubal, beloved by the young Masinissa, is 
said to have taken poison at his bidding when the Roman 
general Scipio ordered their separation. Philippeville, on 


the coast fifty-four miles north, has the largest Roman 
theater in Algeria. 

Batna, seventy-three miles south of Constantine, is the 
station for the motor excursion to Lambaesis and Timgad. 
Forty-one miles farther south, on the line to Biskra, is the 
famous Roman bridge, El Kantara. Biskra, thirty-five 
miles farther and one hundred and forty-nine miles from 
Constantine, is an oasis town south of the mountains on the 
desert's edge, and was Roman Bescera. 

Lambaesis, to-day Lambessa, is a perfect specimen of the 
Roman camp city which had so much to do with the Roman- 
ization of conquered lands. At an elevation of 3,875 feet at 
the north side of the Aur&s Mountains, which border the 
Sahara thirty miles away, this post was the key of this part 
of Africa from the time of Trajan to its decline, when Con- 
stantine was made the capital of the region. Abandoned as 
an active camp, it was probably overwhelmed and destroyed, 
Tike Timgad, by the Berbers from the wild Aur&s near by in 
the raids of 535. Both lay deserted and buried until the 
French occupation in 1830. The Roman camp at Lambaesis 
is a maze of foundation walls and fragments covering an area 
of about 1,600 by 1,300 feet, arranged on the regulation axes 
of the cardo and decumanus, the two long streets which 
crossed at right angles in the heart of the camp, and domi- 
nated by a praetorium 75 by 100 feet and 49 feet high. The 
post was meant for permanence, and not only possessed 
offices, club rooms, forum, shrine, baths, and other civic 
conveniences, but soon caine to be surrounded by so many 
dwellings and places of business and amusement as to assume 
the dimensions and partake of the character of an ordinary 
city. More than one veteran, on receiving his discharge and 
donation, invested his savings in a home and passed the 
remainder of his life on the outskirts of the camp in which 


for a score of years he had lived. The African legion, and 
the only one, was the famous Third Augustan, and it was 
stationed at Lambaesis upwards of three hundred years. 

" No camp in any part of the world," says Alexander Graham 
in Roman Africa, "has left so many indications of its existence, or 
so many memorials of military life and administration, as the 
camp of this Numidian legion. The inscriptions already discov- 
ered and interpreted number more than 2500, and continued sys- 
tematic exploration is constantly bringing others to light. They 
are in the form of memorials of soldiers of all ranks who have 
faithfully discharged their duty, of dedications to emperors for 
just and benevolent rule, and of acts of munificence by residents 
of wealth and renown. One and all they bear testimony to a long 
period of tranquil enjoyment of life in a pleasant and fertile coun- 
try, to the prevalence of respect paid by soldiers to their superiors, 
and to loyal obedience to imperial authority." 

Timgad, fifteen miles from Lambaesis, and excavated from 
1880 on, was founded about A.D. 100 as Colonia Marciana 
Traiana Thamugadi, and its abundant inscriptions prove that 
the architects and engineers of the Legio Tertia Augusta at 
Lambaesis were its chief planners and builders. Timgad is 
the most perfectly excavated city of ancient times, and 
ranks next to Rome and Pompeii as a document of Roman 
life. Its ruins include eleven baths, two markets, forum, 
library, public toilets, basilica, senate, theater, Capitolium 
and other temples, colonnades, an arch to Trajan, shops, 
and private houses in great number. 

Cherchell, or Zerschell, the ancient Colonia Claudia 
Caesarea, capital of Mauretania Caesariensis, is sixty miles 
west of Algiers. High on the coast twenty-four miles before 
reaching Cherchell is the remarkable tomb, over 100 feet 
higfc and 200 feet square at the base, conjectured to be that 
of Juba II, the enlightened ruler of Caesarea in 25 B.C.-A.D. 22. 
Fourteen miles farther on, from side to side of a deep valley, 



is the Roman aqueduct, 100 feet high in three stories. In 
the town are the remnants of Roman fortifications, a fine 
bathing establishment, a theater, and a good museum of 
antiquities. Near by are the naval harbor, the ruins of an 


The Arch of Trajan is in the distance. The camp city of Thamugadi was about 
400 yards square. Its excavation was begun in 1880 by the French Government. 

amphitheater, and the usual reservoirs. The name Cher- 
chell is composed of Caesarea and the earlier Punic name, lol. 
Tangier, ancient Punic Tingis, 563 miles west of Algiers 
and 1,140 miles from Tunis and Carthage, given the rights 
of citizenship by Augustus and made a colony by Claudius, 
was the capital of Mauretania Tingitana. The not very 
plentiful remains of Tingis are an hour's walk from the 
modern town. 


This is but the briefest indication of the archaeological 
interest of northern Africa. Lambaesis, Timgad, Tebessa, 
Constantine, Carthage, and Dougga are the sites most 
frequently and most easily visited, and even these few are 
astonishing in their wealth of ancient interest ; but in them, 
and in all the others here mentioned with them, the list is 
far from complete. Nor have we paused to notice every 
relic of interest. In the vicinity of Tebessa, one archae- 
ologist knew of more than 260 ruins. In the Mateur neigh- 
borhood, 40 miles to the northwest of Carthage, there are as 
many as 300. 

Yet even the imperfect exploration of Africa tells the 
essential truth of the Roman occupation. The Indo- 
European and the Semite, in parallel advances to the north 
and south of the great sea, came into collision where Sicily 
and Spain made contact unavoidable. The permanent 
safety of the Roman required the defeat of the African and 
the occupation of his shores. A decaying civilization along 
the fertile coast and a benighted barbarism in the inland 
wastes were lifted back into something like enlightenment. 
The sea became a means of unity instead of separation. 
The lifeblood of a universal commerce and a universal culture 
was let into veins that were nearly emptied, and health and 
vigor took the place of atrophy. The energy and patience 
of a hardworking race crisscrossed and dotted the areas of 
an almost rainless country with aqueducts and conduits and 
reservoirs and cisterns, and made the desert blossom as the 
rose. There were cities of thousands and scores of thou- 
sands of people where now are villages and towns of hundreds. 
There were comforts and amusements and luxury in city and 
country which died with the Roman withdrawal and only 
now are faintly coming to life again with the French employ- 
ment of the ancient methods and means. 



The Roman Empire in Africa declined, as it declined else- 
where. The Vandals overran it in the fifth century, the 
Byzantines recovered and held it in the sixth, and the Arabs 
ran through its narrow length like fire in the seventh and 

The cross is in memory of Saints Perpetua and Felicitas, martyrs A.D. 203. 

were at the gates of Spain by the eighth. The Roman cities 
crumbled and sank, the winds and the sands covered them, 
and for twelve centuries it was as if Roman Africa had never 
been. It was the victory of nature over art. The parching 
heat, the desiccating rainlessness, the mountains and rocks, 
the wild beasts and desperate men from the barren hills and 
the deserts and beyond, and, above all, the broad and deep 


substratum of the native Punic and Berber population, were 
the potent forces, elsewhere not so great, that made the 
holding of Africa in the Roman tradition too much for human 
strength. When the Arabs came, it was the taking up of the 
old Semitic tradition. 

Yet it would not be truthful to assume that everything of 
Roman Africa disappeared. For three active centuries its 
life was mingled in the life of the Empire and helped to form 
its character. Not even the material contributions of its 
planters and traders and builders may be said to have wholly 
perished from the life of the world. Much less may we say 
that what its men of letters and saints accomplished is not 
a part of the heritage which descended through Christian to 
modern times. 


It has been seen how slight was the force required to pro- 
tect the border in Roman Africa so long as the Empire con- 
tinued in the ways of growth and prosperity, and how com- 
plete, when the Empire had fallen, was the disappearance of 
Rome and Europe from African shores. On no other border 
was the pressure of barbarism so easy to withstand, and in no 
other land of the Empire was the disappearance so complete 
and lasting, the effect in the actual area so transient. The 
truth of this will be clearer if we visit another border land. 

When Carthage withdrew from Spain in 206 B.C., and the 
Romans in 197 B.C. divided it into Hither and Farther Spain 
with capitals at Nova Carthago and Corduba, they found 
a country disunited both by physical nature and by race 
diversity. Sharply divided by rugged and irregular moun- 
tain ranges, its parts were isolated, communication was hard, 
defiance of the pursuer easy. Diversity and division in race 
were quite as sharp. There were the Tartessians or Turde- 
tani in the south, highly civilized and rich, perhaps a remnant 
of the Aegean migrants of the age of bronze ; the Iberians 
in east and north and northwest, hardly removed from bar- 
barism except in the coastal regions where they were touched 
by navigation ; the Celtiberi in the high central plains of 
Castile, a blend of native Iberians with original Celts from 
Gaul ; the ever alien Basques in the Cantabrian valleys at 
the northern limit ; Phoenicians on the coasts at the south ; 
Greeks on the sea in the far northeast ; and, earlier than all 



the rest, the people who left the dolmens, the groups of up- 
right stones called antas, and the great caves with painted 
vaults and carvings of stone and bone. The early attempts 
to subjugate these varied and stubborn peoples, especially 
the Celtiberians and Lusitanians, cost many a Roman defeat, 
and it was not until Augustus that the conquest was made 

The progress of the Roman conquest during these one hun- 
dred and seventy years was marked by notable episodes. 
Tiberius Gracchus in 179 B.C. inaugurated the policy of 
conciliation by means of improvements in agriculture and 
industry, and the leaving of local government to native con- 
trol. The suppression of the Lusitanians under Viriathus in 
140 B.C. was a severe trial to Roman arms. The siege of Nu- 
mantia in 133 B.C. by Scipio was among the famous military 
events of the century, and its fall the destruction of Spanish 
hopes of independence. Sertorius, the able friend of Marius, 
exiled to Spain, erected a temporary state whose benefits in 
wealth, culture, and civic instruction were a more effective 
means of Romanization than all displays of force. Julius 
Caesar as quaestor of Farther Spain in 69 B.C., as praetor in 
61 B.C. in the same province, and in his two campaigns 
against Afranius and Petreius in Hither Spain, north of the 
Ebro, in 49 B.C., and against the Pompeians in 45 at Munda 
near Coidova, acquired a familiarity with Spanish conditions 
which no doubt had an effect on the relations of Augustus 
with Spain. 

When Augustus addressed himself to the Spanish problem, 
he found still unsubdued the tribes on the southern slope of 
the Pyrenees, and the Cantabrians and Asturians in the 
northwest. Between 36 B.C. and 26 B.C. the vigor of the 
Roman effort along the Pyrenees was such that six triumphs 
were claimed by the generals of Augustus. Both sides of the 


mountains were subdued, and the Roman arms were 

with final results against the Cantabrians and Asturians by 

Agrippa and Augustus himself. 

The Spanish conquests were made permanent by the 
transfer of hostile tribes to the plains, the creation of garrison 
towns and forts, and the settlement of veteran soldiers in 
military colonies. Cities were founded whose names ai-e 
still to be detected in the Spanish tongue: Asturica in 
Astorga, Bracara in Braga, Emerita in Merida, Pax Augusta 
in Badajoz, and Caesaraugusta in Zaragoza. The Farther 
Province was divided into Baetica, nearly all the south, with 
Corduba as capital ; and Lusitania, the west and much of 
the north, with Emerita as capital. Hither Spain, with 
capital at Tarraco, modern Tarragona, instead of New 
Carthage, was known thenceforth as Hispania Tarraco- 
nensis. Three legions were sufficient to hold the country : 
the Fourth Macedonian, the Sixth Victorious, the Tenth 
Gemina. Two were in the neighborhood of the present city 
of Le6n, whose name is descended from the word Legio, 
and one near modern Santander on the north coast. The 
legions before long were maintained by recruiting from Spain 

The government of Spain, like that of Africa and other 
provinces, was a combination of Roman and native rule. 
The Roman authority in Baetica was the governor at Cor- 
duba, with a quaestor to manage the tax collections and 
other finances, and a legatus or commissioner residing at 
Hispalis, the modern Seville. The governor of Lusitania, 
ruling from Merida, had one legate whose post was probably 
Olisipo, modern Lisbon. The governor of Hispania Tarra- 
conensis made Tarraco his capital, and had at his service 
three legates and the three legions allotted to all Spain. 
Lusitania and Tarraconensis were imperial -provinces, and 



Baetica a senatorial province, according to the emperor's 
policy of making the more difficult provinces directly 
responsible to him. The title of the senatorial governor at 
Corduba was proconsul; of the imperial governors at 
Tarraco and Merida, praetorian legate. In either case the 


The main stretch of this aqueduct is 900 yards lone, has 119 arches, and sometimes 
reaches a height of 94 feet. It was repaired about A.D. 100, and first built much 

rule was autocratic and personal; the governor was im- 
mediately responsible to the emperor or the Senate, the 
commissioners were responsible to the governor, and the 
numerous underlings who constituted the provincial bureau- 
cracy were answerable to the commissioners. 
Roman authority had to do with the keeping of the 


country in order, the collection of taxes or tribute, and 
improvements in public works or administration which 
affected the general welfare of the province or provinces. 
Outside this, it was native control that functioned. Matter? 
of local import were left largely to individual communities. 
These communities might be colonies, municipalities, Latin 
or federate towns, or tributary villages and areas, according 
to the measure of privilege granted by the Government at 
Rome. In the Tarraconensis there were 293 communities, of 
which 179 possessed constitutions, and the rest some sort 
of autonomy. The government of the communities was 
patterned after that of the Italian cities ; there were duoviri, 
senate, and popular assembly, with assessors to manage the 
tax rates. Once a year, these local senates elected from 
their number delegates to the provincial assembly which met 
under the presidency of the provincial priest to hold a cele- 
bration in honor of the imperial cult, to approve or dis- 
approve the retiring governor, to elect a patron to represent 
the province at Rome, to send intercessors to the emperor, 
and like measures. 

The remoteness of Spain in the Roman mind and the 
perils it offered are suggested by the Ode in which Horace 
addresses Septimius, who is ready to be the poet's comrade 
to the world's end and in any danger : 

"Septimius, who with me would brave 

Far Gades, and Cantabrian land 
Untamed by Rome, and Moorish wave 
That whirls the sand." 

This was the Spain that still in part resisted. The effect 
of Augustan conquest and the Roman pacification policy 
may be seen in what Strabo says in Augustan times of the 
thirty Spanish tribes near the Tagus : 


"Notwithstanding the fertility of the country in corn, cattle, 
gold, silver, and numerous other similar productions, the majority 
of its inhabitants, neglecting to gain their subsistence from the 
ground, passed their lives in pillage and continual warfare, both 
between themselves and their neighbors. To this the Romans at 
length put a stop by subduing them and changing many of their 
cities into villages, besides colonizing some of them better." 

Velleius Paterculus, of the next generation wrote, " These 
provinces, so widely scattered, so numerous, and so fierce, 
which never knew respite from wars of first-class magnitude, 
Augustus brought to so peaceful a state that they were 
free from even acts of brigandage." 

More eloquent testimony still is the fact that within a 
century of the Augustan occupation the number of legions 
in Spain had been reduced from three to one, that no fleet 
was maintained, and that no need for it was felt except when 
the pirates of Mauretania harassed the southern shores. 
The hundreds of colonies, municipalities, federated Latin 
towns, and tributary communities, regulating themselves by 
choice more or less in the Roman way, supplanted the hun- 
dreds of petty tribes and chieftaincies. The judicial dis- 
tricts, or conventus, of the Republic were reorganized 
seven in Hither Spain, four in Baetica, three in Lusitania 
and unified their neighborhoods. The old road from the 
Rhone region down the coast to Tarraco and New Carthage 
was improved and extended to Corduba and Gades, and 
other highways, national and local, built by the emperor and 
the communities. The use of Latin and the toga became 
widespread, and signified the surrender of the barbarian 
to Roman ideals. Extortionate governors were held to 
account, and public spirit began to operate in civic 

The six millions thought to be the population of Spain in 
Augustan times became the probable twelve millions of 


Hadrian's day when the signs began to indicate that the 
peak was passed. It was a country rich in material re- 
sources. Its metals, minerals, wool, cattle, fish, grain, wine, 
honey, and oil formed a large part of the imports of Italy and 
Rome. The gold which was found in its provinces was 
acquired by the placer and hydraulic methods and by shaft 
mining. " Nearly the whole of Spain," writes Pliny, 
"abounds in mines of lead, iron, copper, silver, and gold. ;; 
"Baetica," he says again, " excels all the other provinces in 
the richness of its cultivation and the peculiar fertility and 
beauty of its vegetation." Strabo calls it "marvelously 
fertile, abounding in every species of produce." It was a 
country rich in human resources also. Trajan and Hadrian 
were both natives of Spain. A hundred years of Spanish 
letters included the two Senecas, Quintilian, Lucan, and 
Martial. Pliny the Elder was one of its procurators, and 
Roman administration brought to it many men of ability. 
We may believe also that it did not lack even then the native 
independence and charm of character which make it so 
attractive to the visitor to-day. 

The Roman ruins in Spain are not so abundant as those 
of Roman Africa. They have been despoiled by Vandal, 
Goth, Moor, and Christian ; they have had no desert sands 
to protect them; wind and rain and frost and heat have 
crumbled them. Yet Spain is rich in Roman archaeology. 
At Tarragona and Segovia, it displays two of the mightiest 
aqueduct ruins outside the Roman Campagna. Tarragona, 
where Augustus lived in 26 B.C., has also two miles of Roman 
walls, built by the early commanders in Spain and restored 
by Augustus on the foundations of the prehistoric Iberian 
wall ; and the city abounds in the more fragmentary remains 
of theater, baths, temples, villas, tombs, and other buildings. 
There was a circus five hundred yards long, and near it an 



amphitheater, arid more than five hundred inscriptions have 
been found. At Cartagena, the Spanish capital of the 
Carthaginians, the two heights flanking the harbor entrance 
were once crowned by a castle of the Barca family and a 
temple to Aesculapius, The forum and amphitheater have 
been explored, and a monument forty feet high in honor of 


It is about five miles from Seville. Founded in 205 B.C. by Scipio Africanus for 
his veterans, Italioa was the native city of the Emperors Trajan, Hadrian, and 

the younger Scipio is preserved. New Carthage, the first 
Roman capital, was succeeded by Tarraco. 

Two of the most interesting sites are Italica and Emerita. 
The former is reached by a pleasant walk of five miles from 
Seville, the Iberian HispaJis. Both Italica, which was a 
veterans 7 colony of 206 B.C., and Hispalis were on the trade 
route from Gades to Emerita and Salmantica, the modern 


Salamanca. Trajan and Hadrian were natives of Italica. 
The foundations of its temples, baths, and forum remain, and 
its amphitheater is a large and impressive ruin. Emerita, 
founded by order of Augustus about 25 B.C., is now Merida, 
on the Guadiana, far inland at the borders of Portugal. The 
ancient bridge and viaduct across the river, half a mile long, 
is well preserved and still in use. The aqueduct remains are 
very imposing, the theater is a ruin in the grand style with 
fragments of ornament indicating great splendor, there are 
many temple ruins, and parts of the circus and naumachia 

Corduba, the home of the Senecas, Lucan, and the Gallio 
of The Acts, who was the deputy of Achaea when "the Jews 
made insurrection with one accord against Paul, and brought 
hi to the judgment seat," was made a settlement of 
veterans in 152 B.C. and figured in the civil wars as the enemy 
of Caesar. It has a bridge over the Guadalquivir with 
ancient piers and foundation, the remains of an aqueduct, 
and other ruins, including some of the many hundreds of 
columns which make the Great Mosque one of the world's 
architectural wonders. 

Gades the joyous, Cadiz la Joyosa of the Spaniards to-day, 
the Gades locosae of the epigrammatist Martial, was one of 
the oldest of the Mediterranean cities and probably the 
most frequently mentioned Spanish city of ancient letters. 
Said to have been founded by the Tyrians long before 
Carthage, it was a city of so much dignity at the time of the 
Second Punic War that at the close of hostilities the Roman 
Senate admitted its claim to freedom. Always of great 
commercial importance, its advantage at the meeting of 
Mediterranean and Atlantic was increased by the fall of 
Carthage in 146 B,C. In Augustan times it was reputed to be 
among the first cities of the Empire in the number of its rich 



men; its census included five hundred members of the 
money-marking rank in society, the equites, only Rome and 
Patavium surpassing it. With the multiplication of good 
land routes leading from new harbors on the east coast 
through the peninsula to the west, Cadiz gradually sank, to 
rise again when the Americas came into Spanish affairs and 
the silver fleets returned from the Spanish Main to anchor in 
its harbors. 


Little of Roman Gades remains. Its famous temple to the 
Punic-Greek Melcarth-Heracles, in which Hannibal "dis- 
charged his vows to Hercules and bound himself by new vows 
in case the rest of his ventures were prospered," is now under 
the sea, with most of the city's other buildings. One visits 
it for the memories of the great Carthaginian leader; of 
Balbus, the prefect of engineers and useful friend of Caesar 
and client of Cicero ; of Caninius Rufus, the poet friend of 
Martial and Pliny ; of Columella, the agricultural writer ; of 
the merry dancers and singers whose kind survives in the 


Cadiz of to-day ; and for the delight of the tall houses with 
balconies commanding the streets and miradores looking 
across the waters, for the freshness of the breezes that blow 
from the sea on every side, for the flowers and marbles of its 
patios, and for its clean and silent streets. 

With the end of the second century and the beginning of 
active decline, the Spains partook of the general decay. 
Taxes and civic burdens increased ; freebooters grew bolder ; 
in the reign of Gallienus, A.D. 260-268, the Suevi and Franks 
came down the eastern coast, and defied authority for a 
dozen years ; the reforms of Diocletian, A.D. 284-305, made 
still heavier the already unendurable load of citizenship. In 
the early fifth century the Vandals, Alans, and Suevi lodged 
in the country, soon to be followed by the Visigoths. By 
A.D. 484 no Roman garrisons were left in any part of Spain. 
The authority of the Empire had vanished long before, as 
far as force was concerned. 

Aside from force, however, the Empire did not die in 
Spain, and is living still. The six hundred years of the 
Roman domination did not conclude, as in the case of 
Roman Africa, with the total disappearance of all that was 
Roman except the ruins of Roman buildings. In Spain, it 
was only the formal authority of government that disap- 
peared. The Latin language remained, except among the 
Basques, who have defied the ages and still employ their own 
tongue. The Roman law survived, and the Roman system 
of town government was soon adopted by the Goths. The 
ideals of architecture and the other arts remained. Greatest 
of all for the preservation of Roman ideals and unity, the 
Roman Church remained, with her authoritative bishops to 
restrain their provincials and to keep alive the feeling of kin- 
ship with other parts of Spain and with other lands that once 
had been Roman soil. 


The line between Rome and barbarism on the south was 
drawn by the African desert. The line on the north, until 
Claudius invaded Britain and Trajan carried the eagles into 
Dacia, was drawn by the Rhine and the Danube. To the 
west of Dacia, the Danube and the Rhine continued to be the 

At about the time of Hadrian, the three hundred and forty- 
five miles between the upper Rhine at Rheinbrohl and the 
upper Danube at Regensburg, hitherto a narrow protected 
zone through the forest, became a palisaded defense, to be 
converted after a hundred years into wall and moat, with 
a hundred military stations at intervals on the Roman side, 
with a thousand watch towers, and with military road. In 
the time of Hadrian also, the tribes in the north of Britain 
having proved unconquerable, the Roman line in the island 
was made definite by the great wall between the Solway and 
the Tyne, near what is now the border, between England 
and Scotland. 

Wall and sea and rivers thus marked the limit of Roman 
rule from the Solway to the Black Sea. The length of the 
Danube is 1,725 miles, of the Rhine, 700 ; allowing for the 
fact that the limes, the limit or bound, left the former above 
Regensburg and joined the latter below Coblentz, and 
including the distance to the end of the Roman lines in 
Britain, the entire northern border was over two thousand 
mibs in extent. 




To stand on the banks of the rolling Danube, or by the 
poetic sister stream where 

"The castled crag of Drachenfels 
Frowns o'er the wide and winding Rhine, 
Whose breast of waters broadly swells 
Between the banks which bear the vine/' 

and to see in the steady, powerful rush of their currents the 
line that marked the end of land redeemed from the wilds of 
tribal barbarism, is an impressive experience ; but not until 


The Saalburg is the largest known fortress on the walled and palisaded line of 
defense between Rheinbrohl on the Rhine below Coblentz and Hienheim on the 
Danube near Regenaburg. It is about twenty miles north of Frankfort-on-the- 

one visits the barrier that ran through forests and over hills 
from sea to sea in Britain and from river to river in the heart 
of Germany does he realize in all acuteness the fact of the 
Roman Empire as an area set apart an area one step from 
which meant the leaving behind of the life of cultivated men ; 


an area which constituted a unity to be shielded against the 
rough tribes of the forest and the desert while civilization 
pursued its experiments in the greatest laboratory the history 
of human relations has ever known. 

In the Germanic Museum in Nuremberg are certain great 
stakes from the palisade of Hadrian. The railway from 
Nuremberg to Munich crosses the line of the Limes about 
thirty miles to the south, and a few miles farther on comes to 
Weissenburg, on whose western edge are the walls of the 
military post of Biriciani, one of the hundred stations lying 
within the boundary at points three or four miles apart. 
Rising little above the soil of the cultivated fields, they now 
form a pleasant, sod-covered path between gardens and 
grain. The station was rectangular, occupied about an acre 
and a half, had a gate in each of the sides, and contained 
several buildings of size including what was probably the 
prefect's quarters, a grain magazine, a large central structure 
with a spacious court surrounded by numerous rooms, and 
perhaps baths, all of them with heating apparatus. Inside 
the camp, and especially near the gates, were found many 
spearheads, stone missiles, lances, and human bones. The 
exploration of the place began in 1889. The field in which 
the ruins lay had been known as the Kesselfeld, from Kastel- 
feld, or Castlefield, a name which had lived on long after all 
trace of the station disappeared. 

The station at Weissenburg, like most stations, was five 
miles or so to the south of the wall defense. The wall may be 
seen with good effect near Wilburgstetten, a village about 
thirty miles west of Weissenburg and forty southwest of 
Nuremberg. A mile from the town, in a thick and rugged 
evergreen forest, the German Limes Commission has laid 
bare some hundreds of feet of the stone wall about three feet 
and originally eight feet high, but now little above 



ground level, which ran east to the Danube seventy miles 
away at Hienheim, near Regensburg, and west forty miles to 
Lorch on the Items, there to meet the earthen rampart 
which ran over two hundred miles north and west to the 

Rhine. This was the 
barrier against which 
again and again the 
outer world, covetous of 
a place in the Roman 
sun, threw itself in vain, 
and through which, in 
the later and weaker 
days of the Empire, 
again and again it broke, 
until at length barbarian 
and Roman mingled 
not only within the 
Limes but south of the 
Alps and within the 
walls of Rome, and with 
the new influx of wild 
but fresh and vigorous 
blood the outworn body 

began the new growth 

which was to result in the Europe and Americas of modern 

And yet, impressive as are these and other remnants of the 
German and Raetian lines, they are not to be compared in 
either size or interest with the wall along the British border 
from the Solway to the Tyne. Few places outside Italy are 
so charged with meaning as this for the Briton or American 
conscious of the Roman heritage of his race. 


The British aloofness from the Continent, so often spoken 
of in modern times, was much more the fact in antiquity. 
Horace's "Britons, the most remote of the world," "Britons 
fierce to strangers," and "clouds and dropping rains/ 7 reflect 
the Roman thought, Britain seemed to the Roman imagi- 
nation more inaccessible than Spain, the African desert, or 
even the wilds of Scythia. It was not until A.D. 83, when the 
fleet of Agriccla reached the north end of Scotland, that the 
country was definitely known to be an island. 

With the exception of one Pytheas of Marseilles, who is said 
to have made an exploratory voyage to Britain in 330 B.C., 
the first person of historical importance to set foot in the 
island was Julius Caesar in the two invasions of the summers 
of 55 and 54 B.C. The people whom he found in South 
Britain were the Brythons, a Celtic race who had crossed into 
England about 320 B.C., and were related to the Gaels who 
settled in Ireland. Preceding the Brythons had been an 
earlier wave of Celts, and before them a neolithic stock, 
probably from Spain, and the original palaeolithic race. By 
Caesar's time, the Celts had pushed their neolithic prede- 
cessors out of the South, and the North was occupied by the 
ruder and more primitive portion of the islanders. 

All these peoples left behind them the traces of their 
cultures : the palaeolithic race, their flints and the skull of 
the Piltdown man, 100,000 to 300,000 years ago, the first 
human being whose head-shape and brain-size have been 
determined ; the neolithic men, their stone circles, such as 
Stonehenge, their places of worship, such as Avebury with 
its dike, ditch, and circles of monoliths, dating from 2000 B.C. 
or earlier ; the Britons, their hill camps, such as Old Sarum, 
aear Salisbury, and the frequent barrows representing their 

The first invasion of Caesar, with some hundred ships 


carrying the infantry and cavalry of the Seventh and Tenth 
legions, was hardly more than a three weeks' reconnaissance. 
The second, with five legions in eight hundred transports, 
lasted four months, but carried the Roman arms hardly 
beyond the Thames. It was ninety-six years before the next 
attempt was made. In A.D. 43 the expedition of Claudius, 
some fifty thousand men, effected a permanent occupation. 
It was eight years before the British leader, Caractacus, was 
defeated in Wales, fled to the north, was delivered up by the 
Brigantes, and was taken to Rome ; where, in wonderment 
as he looked on the glories of the city, he asked how the lords 
of such palaces could be covetous of the poor huts of his 
people. Ten years after this, when the Roman army was 
engaged in an invasion of Mona, the island of Anglesey, the 
chief religious retreat of the Britons, a general uprising 
headed by the famous Queen Boadicea, whose capital was 
Camalodunum, the present Colchester, caused the capture of 
that city, Verulamium, Londinium, and other smaller places, 
and the annihilation of the Ninth Legion. The Britons were 
prevented from driving the Romans from the island only by 
a fortunate battle at the last moment. In another ten years 
the Silures, in Wales, the most obstinate in the defense of 
their native land, were conquered by Frontinus, the general 
of Vespasian, and in A.D. 78 Agricola subdued the island of 
Mona. In A.D. 80, Agricola, with the aid of a newly created 
fleet, reached the Firth of Tay. In A.D. 84, a great battle 
with all the forces of the highlanders completed the conquest 
of the island territory so far as it ever was completed. 

Three reasons may be given for the halt of the Roman 
arms without advancing into remote northern Scotland and 
crossing into Ireland, which Agricola thought should be 
conquered, "so that Roman arms should be everywhere, 
and liberty, so to speak, removed from sight." First, the 


Scale of Miles 

20 40 gO 8Q 

Luge Fortwwci 

Small Forte 
9 Ltrg* Towns 
o Small Town* 

. Definite Road* 
-Indefinite Roads 



military capacities of the Empire were already being taxed 
by wars along the Rhine and Danube. Second, the occupa- 
tion of Britain was expensive, and had always been objected 
to as an enterprise not worth the effort ; and the economic 
disadvantage of adding Scotland and Ireland seemed quite 
clear. "The masters of the fairest and 
most wealthy climates of the globe," says 
Gibbon, "turned with contempt from 
gloomy hills assailed by the winter tem- 
pest, from lakes concealed in a blue mist, 
and from cold and lonely heaths over 
which the deer of the forest were chased 
by a troop of naked barbarians." Third, 
the Romanization of these two regions 
could be attempted with far less hope of 
success. The Britons and other Celts in 
the South were closely akin to the Gallic 
Celts, and easily followed in their foot- 
steps ; the Irish and the Scots were Gaelic 
Celts, were a wilder race, spoke a language 
so different from that of the Britons that 
it could not be understood, and were in 
general apart from them. 

Agricola set up a line of defenses from 
the Forth to the Clyde, the headquarters 
of the Roman army were maintained at 
Eboracum, York, and for thirty-five years 
little is heard of British affairs. In the reign of Hadrian, 117- 
138, it is generally agreed, the wall defenses from the Solway to 
the Tyne were erected. That this was at first not meant as 
an actual frontier wall is indicated by the building of a 
similar but less elaborate wall by Antoninus Pius, 13&-161, 
between the Forth and the Clyde, and its strengthening by 


The inscription reads : 
To Jupiter Optimus 
Maximus. Galus AT- 
rius Domitianus, Cen- 
turion of the Twen- 
tieth Legion, Valeria 
yictrix, willingly and 
gladly has discharged 
his TOW as he should. 


Severus, 193-211, who died in the camp at Eboracum, after 
a vigorous campaign in the land of the Caledonians. 

The second or northern wall was abandoned in the second 
century. For the next hundred years there is little evidence. 
At the beginning of the fourth century, a view of the border 
shows that the line of Hadrian is actively occupied in pro- 
tecting Romanized Britain south of the Tyne and the Sol- 
way from the raids of the Picts and Scots ; the Picts being 
the Caledonians, or "tattooed," and the Scots being the 
warriors from Ivernia, or Ireland, always then, as now, 
closely related with northern Scotland both in blood and 
communication. The details of these exciting forays are 
little known to us. Hardly more familiar are the details of 
the last of the three centuries inside the wall that elapsed 
from Hadrian's death to the end of the Roman occupation. 

The end of Roman rule in Britain was due neither to 
rebellion in Britain itself nor to the assaults of Pict and Scot 
on the border. The Empire was falling apart. The North- 
erners had long since made naught of the barrier between 
the Rhine and the Danube, and Alaric and his Goths in 410 
had broken through the gates of Rome itself. The legions 
were needed in places nearer the center than far-away 
Britain, and in many places at once. When the need for 
men became acute, it was the most remote and the least 
remunerative of the provinces that were first abandoned. 
Already in the time of Honorius the last legions had been 
withdrawn, and the British envoys entreating continued 
protection had brought back the unwelcome news that their 
native land must shift for itself. 

For upwards of forty years it did so shift. The decreasing 
momentum of Roman government, as represented by the 
municipal system, the noble families, and the Church, still 
kept the province in its course. The last useless appeal to 


Rome was sent in 446. Unable now to withstand the bar- 
barian pressure from the north, Roman Britain invited, as 
the lesser evil, the aid of Angle, Saxon, and Jute. The 
separation from the Empire was complete; the Roman 
civilization of the island was overwhelmed by the Saxon, and 
for the time disappeared. 

The Roman remains in the British lands are scattered and 
fragmentary. The Roman arms never crossed to Ireland, 
and left few signs of their presence north of the barrier 
erected by Antoninus between Glasgow and Edinburgh. 
Roman building in Britain was never in the grand style, and 
the Saxon invaders seem to have burned and pillaged what 
they found. 

The classical traveler in England will visit the ancient 
remains of pool and chambers and water pipes at Bath, 
whose waters were used in Roman times as they are to-day, 
and whose ancient name was Aqua Sulis, the Waters of Sul, 
in honor of the goddess Sul, the British Minerva. He will 
find a Roman gate in Lincoln, the Roman camp Lindum ; 
a tower in York, the Roman Eboracum ; and city walls at 
Colchester, the Roman Camalodunum, and at Caerleon and 
Caerwent, near Newport in Wales, the ancient Isca and 
Venta, important legionary stations from earliest times. In 
spots never again built upon after the Saxon invasion, he will 
find the ruins of Verulamium, near St. Alban's ; of Calleva, 
now Silchester,near Reading ; of Viroconium, now Wroxeter, 
near Shrewsbury. He will find that ten forts on the south- 
east or Saxon shore have been identified, and that some of 
them, as Burgh, near Great Yarmouth, Pevensey, near 
Hastings, and Porchester, near Portsmouth, have left many 
fragments. He will find many remnants in the heart of 
London and in smaller cities, and many more, especially the 
ruins of country houses, here and there in the English fields. 


Multitudinous minute objects he will find in the British 
Museum and in the local collections of numerous towns. 
He will find many a town interesting for its name or associa- 
tions : Gloucester, once Glevum ; Chester, once Castra, or 
Camp, and the numerous towns ending in " Chester" which 
once were occupied by soldiers ; and the equally numerous 
towns ending in "wich" which once were vici or Roman -vil- 
lages. The ruins usual in less rigorous climes and nearer the 
Mediterranean the theater, amphitheater, basilica, monu- 
mental baths, aqueducts, and temple he will find either 
missing or much less frequent ; and he will find most of the 
ruins of whatever sort either hard to find, or inconvenient, or 
disappointing in their sise and condition. 

One monument of Roman Britain in the grand style, how- 
ever, still remains. The Great Wall of Hadrian, once reach- 
ing from sea to sea, a distance of seventy-four miles, with its 
western end at Carlisle and its eastern at Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, is still to be seen in remarkable completeness for the 
middle thirty-five miles of its length, and is traceable for the 
twenty miles at either end which have in great part dis- 
appeared under the assaults of local searchers for stone and 
freedom for the plow. 

The Great Wall was not alone by itself, but was the chief 
part of a careful zone of defense and aggression. Ap- 
proached from the south, it consisted of a series of parallel 
lines : (1) two ramparts or dikes of dirt and stone ; (2) a 
fosse or ditch ; (3) a third rampart ; (4) a space of open 
ground varying from 90 feet to half a mile, and averaging 
200 feet, threaded by a military road ; (5) the murus, or Wall 
itself, 7 to 9 feet thick, of stone and mortar core faced with 
stones about 9 by 11 inches, and 20 feet high, with battle- 
ment, two turrets, and a small fort or castellum at every 
mile, and a camp some 5 acres in extent at intervals of about 



5 miles; (6) a fosse 40 feet wide and 20 feet deep. The 
enemy coming from the north thus found himself confronted 
by a mighty ditch beyond which, rising to 40 feet above its 
bottom, was the battlemented, turreted, and fortressed wall, 
in the rear of which were the legionaries dispatched by the 

It went straight across country, taking hills and valleys as they came. 

convenient road from the not distant camps that were 
kept in supplies and men from York over the two divisions 
of the great highway later known as Watling Street. 

The Wall was built, so inscriptions indicate, by the 
Second, Sixth, and Twentieth legions, and the twenty-three 
camps manned by troopers from every quarter of the world. 
Nowhere is it preserved in its ancient height, and nowhere 
are the moats and dikes at their original depth and height ;